By Colin Kellaher

 

North American rail traffic fell 1.9% last week as railroads grapple with several challenges, data from the Association of American Railroads showed.

Carload volume rose 4.6% for the week ended Sept. 25 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, while intermodal traffic fell 7.3%, the trade group said Wednesday.

In the week ended Sept. 18, North American rail traffic fell 2.8%. For the first 38 weeks of the year, North American rail traffic is up 8.2%, compared with a year-to-date gain of 8.5% reported a week earlier.

Analysts at Cowen noted that congestion across the intermodal rail network, auto production challenges, and severe weather have all weighed on railroads in the third quarter.

A chip shortage in the auto industry has led to drop in carload of motor vehicles and equipment, while a slowdown at ports has hurt turn times and velocity in the intermodal network.

The AAR said U.S. rail traffic fell 1.3% last week, with a 7.3% decline in the volume of intermodal containers and trailers more than offsetting a 6.6% rise in carloads. U.S. rail traffic is up 9.3% for the first 38 weeks of the year.

Canadian rail traffic fell 4.5% last week amid a 2.5% decline in carloads and a 6.7% drop in intermodal units. Canadian rail traffic is up 5.3% for the first 38 weeks of the year.

Mexican rail traffic edged up 0.7% last week, as an 11.6% rise in carloads more than offset a 10.6% drop in intermodal units. Mexican rail traffic is up 5.9% for the year to date, the AAR said.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 29, 2021 14:39 ET (18:39 GMT)

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