By Colin Kellaher

 

North American rail traffic fell 14.3% last week, ending five weeks of sequential improvement, as the recovery process from the coronavirus pandemic continues, data from the Association of American Railroads showed.

Carload volume tumbled 21.8% for the week ended June 27 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, while intermodal traffic fell 6.6%, the trade group said Wednesday.

In the week ended June 20, North American rail traffic fell 12.7%.

Despite the sequential weekly declines, June overall "was a month in which the slow recovery process that began in early May began to accelerate," said John Gray, AAR senior vice president, adding that while improvements seen during the month are encouraging, "they will be much more robust if the current trend continues in the weeks following the July 4th holiday."

For the first 26 weeks of the year, North American traffic is now down 12%, compared with a year-to-date drop of 11.9% reported a week earlier.

The AAR said U.S. rail traffic fell 13.8% last week, with carloads sliding 22.9% amid declines in all 10 commodity groups tracked. The volume of intermodal containers and trailers fell 5.1%. U.S. rail traffic is down 13.2% for the year to date, the AAR said.

Canadian rail traffic fell 15.1% last week amid a 20.1% drop in carloads and an 8.8% decline in intermodal units. Canadian rail traffic is down 8.3% for the first 26 weeks of the year.

Mexican rail traffic fell 18% for the week, with carloads down 15.8% and intermodal units slumping 20.6%. Mexican rail traffic is now down 10.6% for the year, the AAR said.

 

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

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 01, 2020 12:49 ET (16:49 GMT)

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