Late last week the American Association of Railroads (AAR) published rail traffic data for the week ending September 25th, and compared the traffic to the same week last year. Here is the data they provided:

US Rail Traffic, Week Ending September 25, 2021 This Week
Cars Vs. 2020
Total Carloads          239,069 6.6%
Chemicals            32,033 6.4%
Coal            70,002 20.0%
Farm products excl Grain and Food            15,503 -1.1%
Forest Products            10,210 7.0%
Grain            21,864 -12.5%
Metallic Ores and Metals            24,120 22.4%
Motor Vehicles and Parts            11,563 -29.2%
Nonmetallic Minerals            34,083 13.7%
Petroleum & Petroleum Products            10,444 -6.0%
Other               9,247 1.3%
Total Intermodal Units          272,644 -7.3%
Total Traffic          511,713 -1.3%

Once again, we see the biggest drop off as compared to last year is motor vehicles and parts. To show how badly this sector is performing, on July 6th we provided their data for the week ending June 26th, and at that time carloads for motor vehicles and parts were only down by just over 5%. So the decline is now well over five times as much. So, if you think about how many suppliers in the US are associated with the motor vehicle industry, you can imagine how big an impact this has on our economy. This is a huge price to pay to have lost control of the production of chips to Asian producers.