It has been a few weeks since we looked at rail freight traffic in the U.S., and last week the American Association of Railroads (AAR) released data for the week ending December 18th, as compared to the same week last year (2020). Here is a summary of their report;

Once again, we see the overall decline in intermodal traffic as compared to the prior year, however, it does appear to be not as great as in the past. There isn’t enough information available to tell us what contributed to the change in this element of freight rail system, but hope this trend continues. The other key information we learn is the slowdown in the auto industry continues, with a decline of just over 20%. This is a much bigger decline than was reported for the end of November, suggesting the impact of the supply issues is having a greater effect upon the motor vehicle industry today than just a short while ago. Finally, we can’t help to note the over 11% decline in petroleum and petroleum products shipments, which clearly are as intended by the current administration. The effect of the new regulations they have imposed, in combination with other executive actions is working, unfortunately. It would be nice to return to a time when the US was energy independent, as we were a short time ago.

Happy New Year to our followers; we’ll post again in `22!