From the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Rail Time Indicators. Graphs and excerpts reprinted with permission.
In 2022, U.S. railroads originated 11.98 million total carloads, down 0.3% (34,001 carloads) from 2021 and up 6.2% (697,444 carloads) over 2020. Since 1988, when our U.S. rail data begin, only 2020 had fewer total carloads than 2022.
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:
December is typically one of the lowest volume months of the year, and 2022 was no exception. Total carloads averaged 210,543 per week in December 2022, the fewest for any month in 2022 and down 4.4% from December 2021. The 4.4% decline in total carloads was the biggest for any month since February 2021.The second graph shows the six-week average (not monthly) of U.S. intermodal in 2020, 2021 and 2022: (using intermodal or shipping containers):
U.S. intermodal originations in 2022 were 13.45 million, down 4.9% (686,580 units) from 2021 and down 0.02% (3,131 units) from 2020. U.S. intermodal volume in 2022 was the sixth most ever, but also the lowest since 2016. In 2022, containers accounted 93.7% of U.S. intermodal shipments, a record high.