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

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From the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Rail Time Indicators. Graphs and excerpts reprinted with permission.
October is usually a top month for carloads, and that’s the case in 2022. Total originated U.S. carloads averaged 238,019 per week in October 2022, the most since May 2021 and up 0.5% over October 2021. … U.S. intermodal volume fell 1.4% … its 14th decline in the past 15 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:
Total originated carloads on U.S. railroads averaged 238,019 per week in October 2022, the most since May 2021 and up 0.5% over October 2021. Typically, October is the second highest month of the year for total carloads (behind August), although there is more variability for monthly rankings for total carloads than there is for intermodal. The second graph shows the six-week average (not monthly) of U.S. intermodal in 2020, 2021 and 2022: (using intermodal or shipping containers):
Intermodal volume on U.S. railroads averaged 265,606 containers and trailers per week in October 2022, down 1.4% from October 2021. It’s the eighth straight monthly decline and the 14th decline in the past 15 months.

High inventories at many retailers; warehouses that are generally still clogged (related to high inventories); the fact that many retailers moved up orders to earlier in the year to ensure delivery before the holiday season; and lower port volumes are some of the reasons why intermodal volumes this year are not as high as they otherwise would be.

Realtor.com Weekly Inventory Up 40% Year-over-year; Now Above Same Week in 2020

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