U.S. rail carload and intermodal volumes are down for the week ending March 11, stories AAR


United States rail carload and intermodal volumes, for the week ending March 11, saw annual declines, to varying degrees, according to data issued by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) this week.

Rail carloads—at 229,246—fell 1.5% annually, trailing the week ending March 4, at 237,413, and topping the week ending February 25, at 226,435.

AAR said that three of the 10 carload commodity groups it tracks posted annual gains, including: motor vehicles and parts, up 1,333 carloads, to 15,271; nonmetallic minerals, up 1,259 carloads, to 31,720; and farm products excl. grain, and food, up 164 carloads, to 17,238. Commodity groups posting annual declines included: chemicals, down 2,915 carloads, to 33,013; grain, down 1,080 carloads, to 20,174; and metallic ores and metals, down 1,078 carloads, to 18,962.

Intermodal containers and trailers—at 229,383—fell 13.0% compared to the same week a year ago, trailing the weeks ending March 4 and February 25, at 236,778 and 232,798, respectively.

On a year-to-date basis, through the first 10 weeks of 2023, AAR reported that U.S. rail carloads—at 2,296,099—were off 0.1% annually, and intermodal units—at 2,330,068—were down 9.0%. AAR said that total U.S. rail carloads and intermodal units—at 4,626,167—are down 4.8% compared to the same period a year ago.

North American rail volume for the week ending March 11, 2023, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 330,767 carloads, up 1.0 percent compared with the same week last year, and 303,627 intermodal units, down 12.7 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 634,394 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.1 percent. North American rail volume for the first 10 weeks of 2023 was 6,384,871 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.9 percent compared to a year ago.

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