What issues are you finding with the current rail traffic? (Tony Hatch)

Rail traffic was….lousy in November as the continued (supply chain) congestion issues, labor shortages, chip shortages, grain problems and Acts of God around Vancouver all played a role – North American total freight rail volume was down 6.7%.  The breakdown was carloads down a tad (0.9% - 11/20 commodities showed increases) and intermodal down 11.7%. By country, in order of issues:

  • Canadian carloads were down 8.3% (the impacts of the mudslides – and the crop issues can be seen in grain down 29% and coal -20%); 10/20 commodities were up.  Intermodal was down 21% bringing total traffic down 15%.
  • The US total was down 4.5% (carloads up 2% though down a tad without coals almost 9% boost; 12/20) and Intermodal down almost 10% (-9.6%). Grain was down “only” 7.4%, Forest Products were up 2.5%, Chemicals up 2.4%; Motor Vehicles down 14.3%.
  • Mexico showed the impacts of the auto chip shortage (vehicles/parts -19%) and also the cessation of Lazaro Cardenas blockades (intermodal down only 1.2% despite the auto impact). The totals were carloads down 4% (11/20 and total traffic down 2.6%.