United States rail carload and intermodal volumes, for the week ending May 20, saw annual declines, according to data issued this week by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Rail carloads—at 225,093—were off 0.4% annually, trailing the week ending May 13, at 225,571, and the week ending May 6, at 231,718.
AAR reported that five of the 10 carload commodity groups it tracks saw annual gains, including: motor vehicles and parts, up 1,953 carloads, to 15,737; metallic ores and metals, up 1,846 carloads, to 22,379; and nonmetallic minerals, up 1,073 carloads, to 32,870. Commodity groups posting annual declines included: grain, down 2,600 carloads, to 17,807; coal, down 2,537 carloads, to 63,072; and chemicals, down 816 carloads, to 31,588.
Intermodal containers and trailers—at 245,601 units—fell 9.3% annually, topping the week ending May 13, at 240,810, and the week ending May 6, at 240,121.
Through the first 20 weeks of 2023, AAR reported that total U.S. rail carloads—at 4,485,236—are essentially flat, up 0.6% annually. And intermodal units—at 4,658,692—are off 10.8% annually, with total combined U.S. volume, for the same period, at 9,143,928 carloads and intermodal units—are down 5.6% annually.
North American rail volume for the week ending May 20, 2023, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 330,235 carloads, up 0.3% compared with the same week last year, and 331,392 intermodal units, down 9.3% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 661,627 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.8%. North American rail volume for the first 20 weeks of 2023 was 12,894,181 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.1% compared with 2022.