U.S. rail carload and intermodal volumes are mixed in August, reports AAR

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported this week that, for the month of August, United States rail carload and intermodal volumes were mixed on an annual basis.

AAR observed that 14 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw annual gains, including coal, up 20,666 carloads or 8.4%; crushed stone, sand & gravel, up 7,955 carloads or 10.6%; and primary metal products, up 7,948 carloads or 26.1%. Commodities that saw annual declines included: grain, down 15,539 carloads or 17.5%; motor vehicles & parts, down 10,640 carloads or 16.5%; and farm products excluding grain, down 1,253 carloads or 35.8%.

Rail carloads—at 934,762—headed up 4.1%, or 36,815 carloads, annually. And when excluding coal, carloads were up 16,149 carloads, or 2.5% annually and when excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 31,688 carloads, or 5.6%.

Intermodal containers and trailers—at 1,085,345 units—fell 3.3%, or 37,603 units, annually.

On a year-to-date basis through August, U.S. rail carloads—at 7,841,957—are up 8.4%, or 610,364 units, and intermodal containers and trailers—at 9,483,581 units—are up 12.7%, or 1,071,679 units.

“Rail traffic is navigating many of the same challenges plaguing other supply chain participants, including chassis and container shortages at ports; shortages of drayage truck drivers; port congestion; insufficient warehouse capacity at many locations; and now, weather problems in the Gulf” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray in a statement. “Faced with this, railroads are working hard, in cooperation with other stakeholders, to keep the national rail network fluid.”

For the week ending August 28, AAR reported that U.S. rail carloads—at 234,661—were up 4.1% annually, and intermodal units—at 269,756—slipped 4.6%.

Source: https://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/u.s._rail_carload_and_intermodal_volumes_are_mixed_in_august_reports_aar