Saturday, May 21, 2022

US Rail Traffic Continues Downward Trend in Week 2 – Railway Age

written by

Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

Total US rail traffic for the week ended January 15, 2022 was 493,617 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.6% from the same point last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported on January 19; This is the second consecutive week that there has been a drop in traffic.

Total carloads for week two (ending January 15, 2022) came in at 233,647, up 0.5% over the previous year period, while intermodal volumes were 259,970 containers and trailers, down 12.2%.

For the first week (ending January 8, 2022), total rail traffic was 440,761 carloads and intermodal units, a 16% plunge from the same week last year, based on 210,020 carloads – down 10.6% from 2021 – and 230,741 containers. Intermodal volume of trailers and trailers – down 20.4%.

US Rail Traffic Continues Downward Trend in Week 2 - Railway Age
Chart courtesy of Susquehanna Financial Group. Sources: AAR, Company Report, SFG Research.

According to the AAR, three of the 10 carload commodity groups in week two of the week ending January 15, 2022, registered an increase from the same point last year. They were coal, up to 10,296 carloads, up to 67,867; nonmetallic minerals, 1,779 carloads, up to 27,367; and chemicals, up to 67 carloads, up to 34,002. Posted commodity groups included cereals, 3,196 carloads down 24,344 compared to the same week in 2021; motor vehicles and parts, down 2,948 carloads, at 12,382; and Petroleum and Petroleum Products, down 2,653 carloads, at 9,782.

US Rail Traffic Continues Downward Trend in Week 2 - Railway Age

For the first two weeks of 2022, US Railroads reported a cumulative volume of 443,667 carloads, down 5.1% from the prior year period; and 490,711 intermodal units, down 16.2% from 2021. Total combined US traffic for the first two weeks of 2022 was 934,378 carload and intermodal units, a decline of 11.3% from the previous year.

US Rail Traffic Continues Downward Trend in Week 2 - Railway Age

North American rail volume 12 reporting for the week ended January 15, 2022 totaled 323,685 carloads on US, Canadian and Mexican railroads, down 5.3% from the same point in the previous year, and 339,662 intermodal units, down 12.1%. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 663,347 carloads and intermodal units, a decline of 8.9%. North American Rail volume for the first two weeks of the year was 1,250,655 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 13.1% from 2021.

US Rail Traffic Continues Downward Trend in Week 2 - Railway Age

Canadian railroads reported 68,016 carloads for the week, 21.3% and 64,393 intermodal units sunk, a 13.4% drop from the same week in 2021. For the first two weeks of 2022, they reported a cumulative rail traffic volume of 249,567 carloads, containers and trailers. , 20.2% less than the same period last year.

US Rail Traffic Continues Downward Trend in Week 2 - Railway Age

Mexican railroads reported 22,022 carloads for the week, a decline of 3.4% from the same week in 2021 and 4.4% to 15,299 intermodal units. Their cumulative volume for the first two weeks of 2022 was 66,710 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 8.4% from 2021.

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