United States rail carload and intermodal volumes, for the week ending May 13, were mixed, according to data issued this week by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Rail carloads—at 225,571—eked out a 0.9% annual gain, trailing the weeks ending May 6 and April 29, at 231,718, and 236,318, respectively.
AAR reported that five of the 10 carload commodity groups it tracks saw annual gains, including: motor vehicles and parts, up 2,968 carloads, to 16,035; petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,452 carloads, to 9,491; and nonmetallic minerals, up 1,040 carloads, to 33,846. Commodity groups posting annual declined included: grain, down 2,040 carloads, to 18,818; miscellaneous carloads, down 1,216 carloads, to 7,526; and farm products excl. grain, and food, down 462 carloads, to 15,540.
Intermodal containers and trailers—at 240,810 units—fell 11.5% annually, topping the week ending May 6, at 240,121, and trailing the week ending April 29, at 245,642.
Through the first 19 weeks of 2023, AAR reported that total U.S. rail carloads—at 4,260,143—are essentially flat, up 0.6% annually. And intermodal units—at 4,413,091—are off 10.9% annually, with total combined U.S. volume, for the same period, at 8,673,234 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% compared with the same week last year, and 320,875 intermodal units, down 12.6% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 651,226 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.7%. North American rail volume for the first 18 weeks of 2023 was 11,601,657 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.0% compared with 2022.