WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 3, 2019 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending March 30, 2019, as well as volumes for March 2019.
U.S. railroads originated 957,144 carloads in March 2019, down 8.9 percent, or 93,616 carloads, from March 2018. U.S. railroads also originated 1,065,790 containers and trailers in March 2019, down 1.5 percent, or 16,387 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in March 2019 were 2,022,934, down 5.2 percent, or 110,003 carloads and intermodal units from March 2018.
In March 2019, four of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with March 2018. These included: petroleum & petroleum products, up 8,290 carloads or 21.1 percent; motor vehicles & parts, up 1,215 carloads or 1.8 percent; and nonmetallic minerals, up 927 carloads or 6.3 percent. Commodities that saw declines in March 2019 from March 2018 included: coal, down 64,804 carloads or 19.1 percent; grain, down 11,837 carloads or 12.6 percent; and crushed stone, sand & gravel, down 8,732 carloads or 9.1 percent.
Excluding coal, carloads were down 28,812 carloads, or 4.1 percent, in March 2019 from March 2018. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were down 16,975 carloads, or 2.8 percent.
Total U.S. carload traffic for the first three months of 2019 was 3,195,609 carloads, down 3.1 percent, or 100,800 carloads, from the same period last year; and 3,476,457 intermodal units, down 0.6 percent, or 19,892 containers and trailers, from last year.
Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 13 weeks of 2019 was 6,672,066 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 1.8 percent compared to last year.
Week Ending March 30, 2019
Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 509,958 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.6 percent compared with the same week last year.
Total carloads for the week ending March 30 were 241,906 carloads, down 8.9 percent compared with the same week in 2018, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 268,052 containers and trailers, down 0.4 percent compared to 2018.
Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2018. They included petroleum and petroleum products, up 2,756 carloads, to 12,658; miscellaneous carloads, up 1,175 carloads, to 10,579; and chemicals, up 102 carloads, to 33,809. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2018 included coal, down 21,769 carloads, to 60,984; nonmetallic minerals, down 2,409 carloads, to 34,494; and grain, down 1,487 carloads, to 22,565.
North American rail volume for the week ending March 30, 2019, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 348,723 carloads, down 5.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 358,001 intermodal units, up 1.5 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 706,724 carloads and intermodal units, down 1.9 percent. North American rail volume for the first 13 weeks of 2019 was 9,029,706 carloads and intermodal units, down 1.3 percent compared with 2018.
Canadian railroads reported 84,425 carloads for the week, up 3.0 percent, and 72,703 intermodal units, up 5.5 percent compared with the same week in 2018. For the first 13 weeks of 2019, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 1,889,074 carloads, containers and trailers, up 1.4 percent.
Mexican railroads reported 22,392 carloads for the week, up 10.5 percent compared with the same week last year, and 17,246 intermodal units, up 19.3 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 13 weeks of 2019 was 468,566 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 5.5 percent from the same point last year.
For more information contact: AAR Media Relations at [email protected] or 202-639-2345.
About AAR: The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is the world’s leading railroad policy, research and technology organization focusing on the safety and productivity of rail carriers. AAR members include the major freight railroads of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. Learn more at www.aar.org.