Rail Week Ending Saturday Feb. 9: Continued Soft Data

A summary for this week from the AAR:

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 519,779 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.1 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending February 9 were 242,266 carloads, down 3.3 percent compared with the same week in 2018, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 277,513 containers and trailers, up 3.4 percent compared to 2018.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2018. They were petroleum and petroleum products, up 2,420 carloads, to 12,740; grain, up 1,685 carloads, to 20,720; and motor vehicles and parts, up 363 carloads, to 17,069. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2018 included coal, down 9,107 carloads, to 75,864; farm products excl. grain, and food, down 1,242 carloads, to 15,063; and miscellaneous carloads, down 967 carloads, to 8,487.

For the first six weeks of 2019, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,480,753 carloads, up 0.9 percent from the same point last year; and 1,593,681 intermodal units, up 1 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first six weeks of 2019 was 3,074,434 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 0.9 percent compared to last year.

The middle row in the table below removes coal, grain and petroleum from the changes in the railcar counts as these commodities are not economically intuitive.

This Week Carloads Intermodal Total
This week Year-over-Year -3.3 % +3.4 % +0.1 %
-- Ignoring coal, grain & petroleum -3.4 %    
Year Cumulative to Date +0.9 % +1.0 % +0.9 %

[click on graph below to enlarge]


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