WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 1, 2023
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending February 25, 2023, as well as volumes for February 2023.
U.S. railroads originated 905,744 carloads in February 2023, down 1.6 percent, or 15,101 carloads, from February 2022. U.S. railroads also originated 943,979 containers and trailers in February 2023, down 8.4 percent, or 86,351 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in February 2023 were 1,849,723, down 5.2 percent, or 101,452 carloads and intermodal units from February 2022.
In February 2023, eight of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with February 2022. These included: crushed stone, sand & gravel, up 8,821 carloads or 13.1 percent; petroleum & petroleum products, up 5,833 carloads or 15.8 percent; and motor vehicles & parts, up 4,389 carloads or 8.9 percent. Commodities that saw declines in February 2023 from February 2022 included: coal, down 16,648 carloads or 6.1 percent; grain, down 9,227 carloads or 9.7 percent; and chemicals, down 6,298 carloads or 4.6 percent.
“Coal, chemicals, and grain together account for more than half of all non-intermodal U.S. rail volume. When all three are down, like they were in February, it’s very hard for total carloads not to be down too,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “On the positive side, several commodities including crushed stone and sand, petroleum products, steel products, grain mill and food products showed very strong performances.”
Excluding coal, carloads were up 1,547 carloads, or 0.2 percent, in February 2023 from February 2022. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 10,774 carloads, or 2.0 percent.
Total U.S. carload traffic for the first two months of 2023 was 1,829,440 carloads, up 0.3 percent, or 4,726 carloads, from the same period last year; and 1,863,907 intermodal units, down 8.3 percent, or 167,794 containers and trailers, from last year.
Total combined U.S. traffic for the first eight weeks of 2023 was 3,693,347 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 4.2 percent compared to last year.
Week Ending February 25, 2023
Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 459,233 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.9 percent compared with the same week last year.
Total carloads for the week ending February 25 were 226,435 carloads, up 0.1 percent compared with the same week in 2022, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 232,798 containers and trailers, down 11.1 percent compared to 2022.
Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2022. They included nonmetallic minerals, up 2,978 carloads, to 30,142; petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,890 carloads, to 10,629; and farm products excl. grain, and food, up 1,385 carloads, to 17,267. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2022 included coal, down 2,971 carloads, to 64,218; chemicals, down 1,711 carloads, to 32,234; and grain, down 1,700 carloads, to 20,511.
North American rail volume for the week ending February 25, 2023, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 327,221 carloads, up 2.9 percent compared with the same week last year, and 308,029 intermodal units, down 9.3 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 635,250 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.4 percent. North American rail volume for the first eight weeks of 2023 was 5,096,524 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.3 percent compared with 2022.
Canadian railroads reported 75,994 carloads for the week, up 7.9 percent, and 59,210 intermodal units, down 3.6 percent compared with the same week in 2022. For the first eight weeks of 2023, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 1,111,310 carloads, containers and trailers, up 4.5 percent.
Mexican railroads reported 24,792 carloads for the week, up 16.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 16,021 intermodal units, down 0.7 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first eight weeks of 2023 was 291,867 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 1.7 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.
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