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Friday, December 06, 2019

AAR: November Rail Carloads down 7.5% YoY, Intermodal Down 7.4% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 12/06/2019 03:04:00 PM

From the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Rail Time Indicators. Graphs and excerpts reprinted with permission.

Rail traffic continues to struggle because U.S. manufacturing is soft, trade disputes and the uncertainty they entail are ongoing, and economic growth abroad isn’t what it could be.
In November 2019, total U.S. rail carloads were down 7.5% and total intermodal originations were down 7.4% from November 2018 — making 10 straight monthly declines for both.
emphasis added
Rail Traffic Click on graph for larger image.

This graph from the Rail Time Indicators report shows the year-over-year changes in U.S. Carloads.
That U.S. railroads are in a prolonged slump isn’t in doubt, and it’s not something a few visits with a sports psychologist can break. In November 2019, total originated carloads on U.S. railroads fell 7.5% (77,166 carloads) from November 2018 — their tenth consecutive monthly decline. In the first 11 months of November, total carloads were down 4.6% (574,287 carloads) and were the lowest for any year since sometime before 1988, when our data begin.
Rail TrafficThe second graph is the year-over-year change for intermodal traffic (using intermodal or shipping containers):
U.S. intermodal originations in November 2019 were down 7.4% from November 2018, also their tenth consecutive decline. Year-to-date intermodal volume was 4.7% lower (635,001 containers and trailers) than in the same period in 2018.