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“[U.S.] rail traffic in April was significantly improved compared with March, in part because railroads affected by severe flooding in the Midwest were able to return their operations more toward normal,” said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray. “It appears that some of the economic uncertainty that was prevalent earlier in the first quarter has dissipated, although concerns about trade issues may still be having an impact on rail volumes. However, as long as the economy continues to show life, it’s reasonable to think that rail traffic volumes will continue to improve in the coming months.”
Month of April
U.S. railroads originated 1,041,544 carloads in April 2019, down 0.9%, or 9,130 carloads, from April 2018. U.S. railroads also originated 1,056,146 containers and trailers in April 2019, down 3.9%, or 42,832 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in April 2019 were 2,097,690, down 2.4%, or 51,962 carloads and intermodal units from April 2018.
In April 2019, six of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR saw gains compared with April 2018. Among these were petroleum and petroleum products, up 11,758 carloads or 29.5%; coal, up 5,732 carloads or 1.8%; and metallic ores, up 1,161 carloads or 5.0%. Among the commodities that saw declines in April 2019 from April 2018 were crushed stone, sand & gravel, down 10,750 carloads or 10.1%; grain, down 4,605 carloads or 4.7%; and motor vehicles and parts, down 3,875 carloads or 5.4%.
Excluding coal, carloads were down 14,862 carloads, or 2.0%, in April 2019, compared to April 2018. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were down 10,257 carloads, or 1.6%.
This article first appeared on www.railwayage.com
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