The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending July 2, 2022, as well as volumes for June 2022.
U.S. railroads originated 1,157,555 carloads in June 2022, down 1.5 percent, or 17,970 carloads, from June 2021. U.S. railroads also originated 1,323,119 containers and trailers in June 2022, down 4.6 percent, or 63,483 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in June 2022 were 2,480,674, down 3.2 percent, or 81,453 carloads and intermodal units from June 2021.
In June 2022, eight of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with June 2021. These included: crushed stone, sand & gravel, up 7,028 carloads or 7.3 percent; grain, up 4,794 carloads or 4.5 percent; and motor vehicles & parts, up 3,839 carloads or 6.2 percent. Commodities that saw declines in June 2022 from June 2021 included: coal, down 10,226 carloads or 3.1 percent; all other carloads, down 7,532 carloads or 23.1 percent; and primary metal products, down 5,388 carloads or 11.6 percent.
“As conjecture grows about the direction of the U.S. economy, June rail traffic doesn’t offer definitive answers on whether a recession is looming or not,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “Like many other economic indicators today, rail traffic is a mix of red, yellow, and green with some traffic lines, such as automotive, providing generally positive indicators while others, such as chemicals, being a bit more subdued than they were earlier in the year.”
Excluding coal, carloads were down 7,744 carloads, or 0.9 percent, in June 2022 from June 2021. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were down 12,538 carloads, or 1.7 percent.
Total U.S. carload traffic for the first six months of 2022 was 5,993,917 carloads, down 0.1 percent, or 8,823 carloads, from the same period last year; and 6,878,726 intermodal units, down 6.2 percent, or 453,282 containers and trailers, from last year.
Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 26 weeks of 2022 was 12,872,643 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 3.5 percent compared to last year.
Week ending July 2, 2022
Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 500,285 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.5 percent compared with the same week last year.
Total carloads for the week ending July 2 were 234,561 carloads, down 1 percent compared with the same week in 2021, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 265,724 containers and trailers, down 3.7 percent compared to 2021.
Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2021. They included grain, up 3,040 carloads, to 22,904; farm products excl. grain, and food, up 743 carloads, to 16,287; and nonmetallic minerals, up 219 carloads, to 32,506. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2021 included coal, down 2,003 carloads, to 64,375; miscellaneous carloads, down 1,843 carloads, to 9,011; and metallic ores and metals, down 1,113 carloads, to 22,159.
North American rail volume for the week ending July 2, 2022, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 330,619 carloads, down 0.4 percent compared with the same week last year, and 350,823 intermodal units, down 1.5 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 681,442 carloads and intermodal units, down 0.9 percent. North American rail volume for the first 26 weeks of 2022 was 17,553,714 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.6 percent compared with 2021.
Canadian railroads reported 76,963 carloads for the week, up 5.7 percent, and 69,631 intermodal units, up 8.8 percent compared with the same week in 2021. For the first 26 weeks of 2022, Canadian railroads reported a cumulative rail traffic volume of 3,724,167 carloads, containers, and trailers, down 5.1 percent.
Mexican railroads reported 19,095 carloads for the week, down 13.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 15,468 intermodal units, down 4 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 26 weeks of 2022 was 956,904 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 0.9 percent from the same point last year.
To view the traffic charts, click here.