by Calculated Risk on 7/09/2021 11:46:00 AM
From the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Rail Time Indicators. Graphs and excerpts reprinted with permission.
U.S. rail volumes in June 2021 and Q2 2021 were consistent with an economy that’s growing but
has more growing to do. Total U.S. carloads in June 2021 and Q2 2021 were up 19.1% and 23.8%,
respectively, over the same periods in 2020 as easy comps led to big year-over-year percentage gains.
That said, total carloads in Q2 2021 were the most for any quarter since Q4 2019.
On the intermodal side, U.S. originations in Q2 2021 were the most ever for a quarter, and
intermodal volume in the first six months of 2021 were the most ever for the first six months of a year.
This graph from the Rail Time Indicators report shows the six week average of U.S. Carloads in 2019, 2020 and 2021:
Total originated carloads were 1.18 million in
June 2021, up 19.1% (188,164 carloads) over June 2020
and down 5.5% from June 2019.
Carloads excluding coal were up 14.1% in June 2021 over June 2020 and down 4.3% from June
U.S. intermodal originations, which are not
included in carloads, rose 10.9% in June 2021 over June
2020, their 11th straight year-over-year gain. In June,
intermodal averaged 277,349 containers and trailers per
week, the second most for June on record (behind June