Skip to main content

Latest AAR North American rail traffic data released

Published by , Editor
Dry Bulk,

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has released its latest North American rail traffic report for the week ending 29 August 2020, as well as volumes for August 2020.

August 2020

US railroads originated 898 227 carloads in August 2020 (down 14.9%, or 156 797 carloads, from August 2019). US railroads also originated 1.12 million containers and trailers in August 2020 (up 3%, or 33 115 units, from the same month last year). Combined US carload and intermodal originations in August 2020 were 2.02 million (down 5.8%, or 123 682 carloads and intermodal units, from August 2019).

In August 2020, two of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with August 2019. These were: grain (up 4683 carloads, or 5.6%); and farm products excluding grain (up 168 carloads, or 5%). Commodities that saw declines in August 2020 from August 2019 were coal (down 85 216 carloads or 25.8%); crushed stone, sand, and gravel (down 24 961 carloads, or 25%); and petroleum and petroleum products (down 7128 carloads, or 14.3%).

“Despite the pandemic and the associated economic dislocations, an enormous amount of freight continues to move on railroads and other transportation modes,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “For US railroads, August 2020 was the best month in terms of intermodal loadings since October 2018 and the fifth best intermodal month ever. Much of what’s inside the trailers and containers on an intermodal train ends up on the shelves of stores, or finds its way to consumers’ doors via e-commerce merchants. Railroads help ensure that consumers get what they want, when they want it.”

Excluding coal, carloads were down 71 581 carloads, or 9.9%, in August 2020 from August 2019. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were down 76 264 carloads, or 11.9%.

Total US carload traffic for the first eight months of 2020 was 7.45 million carloads (down 16%, or 1.42 million carloads, from the same period last year); and 8.61 million intermodal units (down 7.7%, or 717 985 containers and trailers, from last year).

Total combined US traffic for the first 35 weeks of 2020 was 16.06 million carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 11.8% compared to last year.

Week Ending 29 August 2020

Total US weekly rail traffic was 508 307 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.2% compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending 29 August amounted to 225 703 carloads (down 15.9% compared with the same week in 2019), while US weekly intermodal volume was 282 604 containers and trailers (up 3.4% compared to 2019).

None of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 included: coal (down 23 701 carloads to 62 919); non-metallic minerals (down 6457 carloads to 29 841); and metallic ores and metals, down 3890 carloads to 19 676.

North American rail volume for the week ending 29 August 2020 – based on 12 reporting US, Canadian, and Mexican railroads – totalled 318 124 carloads (down 15.3% compared with the same week last year) and 372 734 intermodal units (up 1.6% compared with last year). Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 690 858 carloads and intermodal units (down 7%). North American rail volume for the first 35 weeks of 2020 was 22.11 million carloads and intermodal units (down 11% compared with 2019).

Canadian railroads reported 72 859 carloads for the week (down 15.3% compared with the same week in 2019) and 73 551 intermodal units (down 0.8%). For the first 35 weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 4.86 million carloads, containers and trailers (down 8.6%).

Mexican railroads reported 19 562 carloads for the week (down 8.1% compared with the same week last year) and 16 579 intermodal units (down 15.1%). Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 35 weeks of 2020 was 1.19 million carloads and intermodal containers and trailers (down 10.7% from the same point last year).

Read the article online at:

You might also like


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):


This article has been tagged under the following:

Dry bulk freight news Dry cargo news