U.S. Rail Traffic for July and the week ending July 30, 2022

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending July 30, 2022, as well as volumes for July 2022.

U.S. railroads originated 906,903 carloads in July 2022, up 0.2 percent, or 2,213 carloads, from July 2021. U.S. railroads also originated 1,033,906 containers and trailers in July 2022, down 3 percent, or 32,094 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in July 2022 were 1,940,809, down 1.5 percent, or 29,881 carloads and intermodal units from July 2021.

In July 2022, 10 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with July 2021. These included: coal, up 5,588 carloads or 2.2 percent; crushed stone, sand & gravel, up 5,197 carloads or 6.7 percent; and motor vehicles & parts, up 3,726 carloads or 8.2 percent. Commodities that saw declines in July 2022 from July 2021 included: primary metal products, down 7,065 carloads or 19.2 percent; all other carloads, down 3,311 carloads or 15.1 percent; and stone, clay & glass products, down 2,202 carloads or 6.7 percent.

“Rail traffic in July was evenly balanced between commodities with carload gains and those with carload declines,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “As such, it does not provide definitive evidence regarding the state of the overall economy. In that respect, it is very similar to most other recent economic indicators.”

Excluding coal, carloads were down 3,375 carloads, or 0.5 percent, in July 2022 from July 2021. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were down 4,356 carloads, or 0.8 percent.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first seven months of 2022 was 6,900,820 carloads, down 0.1 percent, or 6,610 carloads, from the same period last year; and 7,912,632 intermodal units, down 5.8 percent, or 485,376 containers and trailers, from last year.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 30 weeks of 2022 was 14,813,452 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 3.2 percent compared to last year.

Week ending July 30, 2022

Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 505,409 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.6 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending July 30 were 237,079 carloads, up 3.6 percent compared with the same week in 2021, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 268,330 containers and trailers, down 1.9 percent compared to 2021.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2021. They included coal, up 5,728 carloads, to 68,617; grain, up 3,336 carloads, to 21,566; and farm products excl. grain, and food, up 1,376 carloads, to 16,298. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2021 included metallic ores and metals, down 1,700 carloads, to 22,952; miscellaneous carloads, down 1,237 carloads, to 8,808; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 542 carloads, to 9,744.

North American rail volume for the week ending July 30, 2022, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 333,060 carloads, up 1.9 percent compared with the same week last year, and 358,418 intermodal units, down 0.6 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 691,478 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.6 percent. North American rail volume for the first 30 weeks of 2022 was 20,224,823 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.1 percent compared with 2021.

Canadian railroads reported 73,313 carloads for the week, down 3 percent, and 74,204 intermodal units, up 6.2 percent compared with the same week in 2021. For the first 30 weeks of 2022, Canadian railroads reported a cumulative rail traffic volume of 4,299,143 carloads, containers, and trailers, down 3.7 percent.

Mexican railroads reported 22,668 carloads for the week, up 0.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 15,884 intermodal units, down 7.1 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 30 weeks of 2022 was 1,112,228 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 0.3 percent from the same point last year.

For the weekly rail traffic charts, click here.

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