A combination of a weak domestic manufacturing sector, feeble economic growth abroad that’s limiting exports, continued trade spats that are disrupting global supply chains, and general economic uncertainty are creating strong headwinds for U.S. rail volumes.
In October 2019, total U.S. rail carloads were down 8.4% from October 2018, their ninth straight decline. … Intermodal won no prizes in October either: it was down 7.8%, its biggest percentage decline since January 2009.
From the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Rail Time Indicators. Graphs and excerpts reprinted with permission.