Hurricane Sandy Hits US Rail Traffic

Hurricane Sandy Hits US Rail Traffic

Hurricane Sandy drove down traffic on larger U.S. railroads during the week ending November 3, according to figures released by the Association of American Railroads. They uncharacteristically reported less intermodal volume, originating 224,467 trailers and containers, down 6.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 278,230 carloads, down 6.8 percent year-over-year.

Railroad trailer traffic fell 14.5 percent year-over-year and 2.5 percent from the week before, to 29,058 units. Year-to-date trailer traffic, at at 1,302,882 units, is 9.3 percent below the same period last year.

Trailer cargo on major U.S. railroads as of Week 44. Source: Association of American Railroads

Trailer volume on major U.S. railroads as of Week 44. Source: AAR.

Container traffic was down 4.8 percent year-over-year and 12.5 percent below the level posted the week before, at 195,409 units. Year-to-date 2012 container traffic, totaling 9,141,857 units, was 5.6 percent ahead of the same period last year.

Container volume on major U.S. railroads as of Week 44. Source: Association of American Railroads.

Container volume on major U.S. railroads as of Week 44. Source: AAR.

Ten of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 61.5 percent; farm products excluding grain, up 46.4 percent; and lumber and wood products, up 24 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included iron and steel scrap, down 25.8 percent; metallic ores, down 22.9; and nonmetallic minerals, down 22.5 percent.

Carload volume on major U.S. railroads as of Week 44. Source: Association of American Railroads.

Carload volume on major U.S. railroads as of Week 44. Source: AAR.

Year-to date carload traffic, at  at 12,465,059 units, was 3 percent below the same period last year.

AAR data for U.S. railroads does not include the U.S. operations of Canadian National and Canadian Pacific.