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            october 18, 2019

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Busworld 2019

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US rail freight volumes continue to fall, down 3.4pc in H1


US rail freight traffic is continuing to decrease with volumes for the week ending July 20 contracting 4.9 per cent year on year to 526,010 carloads and intermodal units, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.
Within this total, the US operations of the Class I railroads saw US carloads decline 4.2 per cent to 254,434 carloads while intermodal units declined by 5.6 per cent to 271,576 intermodal containers and trailers.
Year to date, US rail volumes totalled 14.98 million carloads and intermodal units, representing a year-on-year drop of 3.4 per cent. Of that, US carloads totalled 7.29 million carloads, a 3.1 per cent decrease compared to the second quarter of 2018. US intermodal containers and trailers were down 3.5 per cent to 3.69 million intermodal units, reported New York's FreightWaves.
Rail volumes in Mexico also fell both weekly and year to date. Mexican rail traffic declined 3.4 per cent year to date to 1.08 million carloads and intermodal units. On a weekly basis, Mexican rail volumes were down 2.4 per cent to 38,955 carloads and intermodal units.
On the other hand, Canadian rail volumes continued to increase, with rail volumes up 2.1 per cent to 4.37 million carloads and intermodal units year to date. Weekly Canadian volumes were up three per cent to 153,968 carloads and intermodal units.
In spite of posting lower second quarter volumes, Class I railroads reported higher revenues or profit gains amid cuts to operating expenses.
The rail companies are "cautiously optimistic" that rail volumes could rise in the second half of the year, and were looking at ways to trim costs further in an effort to improve their profit prospects for the rest of the year.

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