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Friday, February 07, 2020

AAR: January Rail Carloads down 5.9% YoY, Intermodal Down 5.4% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 2/07/2020 02:46:00 PM

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

U.S. rail volumes fell again in January, but there were glimmers of hope. Nine of the 20 carload categories the AAR tracks had year-over-year gains in January 2020, the most in a year, and several other commodities had carload declines in January that were smaller than they’ve been in recent months.

Total U.S. rail carloads fell 5.9%, or 73,110 carloads, in January 2020 from January 2019, their 12th straight decline.
U.S. intermodal originations fell 5.4%, or 71,081 units, in January and have now fallen for 12 consecutive months.
emphasis added
Rail Traffic Click on graph for larger image.

This graph from the Rail Time Indicators report shows the six week average of U.S. Carloads in 2018, 2019 and 2020:
Total originated carloads on U.S. railroads fell 5.9% (73,110 carloads) in January 2020 from January 2019, their 12th consecutive monthly decline. Weekly average total carloads in January 2020 were 233,147, the second-lowest weekly average for any month since January 1988, when our data begin. (Only December 2019 was lower, at 232,026.)
Rail TrafficThe second graph shows the six week average of U.S. intermodal in 2018, 2019 and 2020: (using intermodal or shipping containers):
Meanwhile, total U.S. intermodal originations (which are not included in the carload numbers) were down 5.4% (71,081 containers and trailers) in January, also their 12th consecutive monthly decline