United States rail carload and intermodal volumes, for the week ending May 6, saw annual declines, according to data issued this week by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Rail carloads—at 231,718—saw an annual decline by a very small margin, falling 0.04% annually. This tally tailed the weeks ending April 29 and April 22, at 236,318 and 240,584, respectively.
AAR reported that five of the 10 carload commodity groups it tracks saw annual gains, including: metallic ores and metals, up 1,385 carloads, to 20,697; nonmetallic minerals, up 1,359 carloads, to 35,326; and petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,192 carloads, to 10,133. Commodity groups posting annual declines included: miscellaneous carloads, down 2,804 carloads, to 6,788; chemicals, down 1,179 carloads, to 33,084; and grain, down 734 carloads, to 21,700.
Intermodal containers and trailers—at 240,141 units—were off 12.1% annually, trailing the week ending April 29, at 245,642 units, and topping the week ending April 22, at 239,873.
Through the first 18 weeks of 2023, AAR reported that total U.S. rail carloads—at 4,161,847—are essentially flat, up 0.6% annually. And intermodal units—at 4,209,017—are off 10.9% annually, with total combined U.S. volume, for the same period, at 8,370,864 carloads and intermodal units—are down 5.6% annually.
North American rail volume for the week ending May 6, 2023, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 330,351 carloads, down 0.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 320,875 intermodal units, down 12.6 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 651,226 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.7 percent. North American rail volume for the first 18 weeks of 2023 was 11,601,657 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.0 percent compared with 2022.