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Transportation: Rail Traffic

The Association of American Railroads reports that “For the first seven weeks of 2019, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,730,989 carloads, up 0.1 percent from the same point last year; and 1,867,360 intermodal units, up 0.5 percent from last year.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first seven weeks of 2019 was 3,598,349 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 0.3 percent compared to last year.” Including Canadian and Mexican railroads, North American rail traffic was also reportedly up 0.3 percent for the year-to-date. But the recent weekly rail data has been somewhat less encouraging. According to AAR, “North American rail volume for the week ending February 16, 2019, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, totaled 344,274 carloads, down 2.7 percent compared with the same week last year.” Here’s the recent weekly trend in U.S. originated rail traffic showing a relatively strong start to 2019 (in red) but subsequent slowdown as coal, chemical, and grain originations have eased:

U.S. Rail Traffic: Total Carloads and Intermodal (combined)

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