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Week 36: Hurricanes Impacted North American Rail Freight Traffic

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Part 7
Week 36: Hurricanes Impacted North American Rail Freight Traffic PART 7 OF 10

Canadian National Railway: Freight Growth Continued in Week 36

CNI’s railcar traffic

Canada’s largest freight rail carrier, Canadian National Railway (CNI), has maintained its positive momentum in 2017. CNI’s carloads increased 5% to more than 63,000 railcars in the week ended September 9, 2017. Its carloads totaled 60,000-plus units in the week ended September 10, 2016.

Canadian National’s coal traffic contributes ~10%–11% of the overall carloads. In week 36 of 2017, CNI’s coal volumes decreased 5.7% to 7,000 railcars from ~7,400 units in the same week in 2016. In contrast with coal (ARLP) volumes, the carloads of other-than-coal commodities jumped 6.5% to 56,000-plus units.

Canadian National Railway: Freight Growth Continued in Week 36

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Compared with Canadian railroads, Canadian National Railway’s volume growth has been on par so far in 2017. The company has left its US Class I peers far behind in terms of consistent weekly volume growth.

Commodity groups

In the 36th week of 2017, CNI witnessed volume gains in lumber and wood products, primary forest products, automotive, food and kindred products, and waste and scrap materials.

On the other hand, CNI’s shipments of petroleum products (UGAZ), chemicals, non-metallic minerals, and grain mill products were lower year-over-year in the same week of 2017.

CNI’s intermodal traffic

In week 36 of 2017, Canadian National Railway’s intermodal traffic rose 15.7%. The company hauled more than 46,000 containers in that week compared with 40,000 containers in the same week in 2016. CNI’s intermodal traffic is solely represented by containers.

Canadian National Railway recorded higher intermodal growth among the US Class I railroads (UNP). However, the company’s growth in the same category was on par with the rise reported by Canadian railroads.

Continue to the next part for a discussion of Canadian Pacific Railway (CP).

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