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Wednesday, July 10, 2024

AAR: Rail Carloads Down YoY in June due to Decrease in Coal, Intermodal Up

by Calculated Risk on 7/10/2024 09:53:00 AM

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

In terms of total carloads, we’re in a period when the changes are not positive. Total originated carloads on U.S. railroads in the second quarter of 2024 were down 4.8%, or 140,915 carloads, from the second quarter of 2023. That was the biggest year-over-year quarterly percentage decline for total carloads since Q4 2020. ... Total carloads are down due to a decrease in coal carloads. ... Excluding coal, carloads were much better: up 1.7% (11,254 carloads) in Q2 2024 over Q2 2023 and up 0.6% (26,398 carloads) in the first six months of this year over last year.
emphasis added
Rail Traffic Click on graph for larger image.

This graph from the Rail Time Indicators report shows year-over-year change for Carloads and Intermodal:
U.S. intermodal volume had another good month in June — volume was up 8.7% over last year, the 10th straight year-over-year gain for intermodal.
Note that rail traffic was weak even before the pandemic. As AAR noted: "Trade tensions and declining mfrg. output lead to lower rail volumes".