From the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Rail Time Indicators. Graphs and excerpts reprinted with permission.
Total U.S. rail carloads in November were down 0.9% from last year, but the weekly average for the month (232,547) was slightly higher than the weekly average so far in 2022 (231,961). In November, eight of the 20 carload categories we track had gains. … U.S. intermodal originations, which are not included in carloads, fell 5.4% in November — their ninth straight decline and 15th in the past 16 months. Year-to-date intermodal was down 4.8%.
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:
Total originated carloads in November on U.S. railroads averaged 232,547 per week, down 0.9% from November 2021 but slightly higher than the average week so far in 2022. 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, which are not included in carloads, fell 5.4% in November 2022 from November 2021 — their ninth straight year-over-year decline and 15th in the past 16 months. In 2022 through November, intermodal volume was down 4.8% (637,473 containers and trailers) from last year but was up 1.7% (211,419 units) over 2020. Much of what railroads haul in intermodal service fills the shelves of big-box and other retailers, and retailers’ demand for items to fill their shelves depends in part on inventory levels.