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Week 36: Hurricanes Impacted North American Rail Freight Traffic

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Part 2
Week 36: Hurricanes Impacted North American Rail Freight Traffic PART 2 OF 10

Norfolk Southern: Commodities Leading Shipment Rise in Week 36

Week 36: NSC’s freight volumes

Norfolk Southern (NSC) recorded a 6.8% rise in freight railcars in the week ended September 9, 2017. The company’s railcar traffic reached 65,500 units in the same week compared with more than 61,000 units in the week ended September 10, 2016.

NSC posted a marginal 0.7% growth in its volumes excluding coal (UNG) and coke. Other than coal and coke, the company’s railcars totaled ~45,000 in week 36. This was slightly higher than its volumes in 2016. Norfolk Southern registered a 22.8% increase in coal and coke carloads to ~21,000 units from ~17,000 in the 36th week of 2016.

Norfolk Southern: Commodities Leading Shipment Rise in Week 36

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Recently, Norfolk Southern’s operations were affected by Hurricane Irma. On September 14, 2017, the company disclosed that it restored services on its mainline track throughout Florida and Georgia.

Change in commodity groups

In the 36th week of 2017, the commodity groups with higher year-over-year volumes were:

  • grain mill products
  • grain
  • iron and steel scrap
  • pulp
  • paper and allied products
  • stone, clay, and glass products

On the other hand, the commodity groups that reported lower volumes year-over-year were:

  • crushed stone
  • sand and gravel
  • food and kindred products
  • motor vehicles (TM) (TSLA)

Norfolk Southern: Commodities Leading Shipment Rise in Week 36

NSC’s intermodal traffic

In the week ended September 9, 2017, Norfolk Southern registered a 2.9% rise in overall intermodal traffic. Its intermodal volumes totaled more than 75,000 containers and trailers compared with 73,000 units in the week ended September 10, 2016.

For Norfolk Southern, trailers comprise ~10% of the overall intermodal traffic. The company posted a substantial 25% gain in trailer traffic in the 36th week of 2017. NSC’s container volumes rose ~1.2% in the reported week to 68,500 units compared with ~68,000 containers in 2016.

Next, we’ll cover CSX’s (CSX) volumes in the 36th week of 2017.

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