A dip in intermodal volume led to a 1.1 percent decline in total U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Feb. 23 compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.
U.S railroads moved 522,630 carloads and intermodal units during the week. Of that, carload volume was 256,954 units, up 2 percent, but intermodal volume was 265,676 containers and trailers, down 3.9 percent compared with 2018's levels.
Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows on a weekly basis posted increases. They included petroleum and petroleum products, up 2,135 carloads to 12,188; miscellaneous carloads, up 1,874 carloads to 9,749; and grain, up 1,636 carloads to 21,695.
Commodity groups that posted decreases were motor vehicles and parts, down 819 carloads to 16,705; farm products (excluding grain) and food, down 704 carloads to 15,792; and chemicals, down 613 carloads to 30,982.
Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 74,785 carloads for the week, up 2.4 percent, and 66,290 intermodal units, down 2.8 percent compared with the same week in 2018. Mexican railroads logged 21,273 carloads for the week, down 0.3 percent, and 18,346 intermodal units, down 2.7 percent.
For the first eight weeks of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018:
• U.S. railroads reported 4,120,979 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.1 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported 1,140,368 carloads, containers and trailers, up 2.7 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported 274,272 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 9.4 percent.