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AAR: March Rail Carloads Up Year-over-year, Intermodal Down

by Calculated Risk on 4/08/2022 08:11:00 AM

From the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Rail Time Indicators. Graphs and excerpts reprinted with permission.

March 2022 was another mixed month for U.S. rail volumes. Total carloads were up 1.2% over
March 2021. That’s their 12th gain in the past 13 months, but also their smallest percentage gain during
that period. Total carloads averaged 233,909 per week, the second most in the past nine months.
Intermodal originations, by contrast, were down 6.4% in March 2022 from March 2021. Intermodal has
been down on a year-over-year basis for seven of the past eight months.
emphasis added

Click on graph for larger image.

This graph from the Rail Time Indicators report shows the six-week average of U.S. Carloads in 2020, 2021 and 2022:

n March 2022, total originated U.S. rail carloads
were up 1.2% (13,456 carloads) over March 2021. That’s
the 12th gain for total carloads in the past 13 months, but
it’s also the smallest percentage increase for the 12
months with gains. Total carloads averaged 233,909 per
week in March 2022, the second most in the past nine
months (October 2021 was higher).

The second graph shows the six-week average (not monthly) of U.S. intermodal in 2020, 2021 and 2022: (using intermodal or shipping containers):

For intermodal, originations in March 2022
totaled 1.34 million containers and trailers, down 6.4%
(92,170 units) from March 2021. For the first three months
of 2022, volume was 3.37 million units, down 6.9%
(249,672) from last year. The first three months of 2021
were by far the highest-volume first three months of a
year in history for intermodal. The comparable figure for
this year is the fourth highest in history (behind 2021,
2018, and 2019).

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