Norfolk Southern: How Volumes Compared to the Industry in Week 35
Norfolk Southern’s freight traffic
Norfolk Southern (NSC) operates ~19,500 miles, mainly in the Eastern and Midwestern United States. The company registered a 2.3% growth in total freight traffic in the 35th week, which ended September 2, 2017. NSC’s railcar volumes rose 2.3% to ~73,000 units that week compared to ~71,000 units in the week ended September 3, 2016.
Norfolk Southern recorded higher volumes in both coal and coke volumes and railcars excluding coal and coke. The company’s other than coal and coke railcars expanded 1.7% to ~50,000 units from ~49,000 units in the 35th week of 2016. Usually, these volumes contribute ~70.0% to NSC’s overall volumes.
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Norfolk Southern’s coal and coke carloads rose 3.9% in the reported week of 2017. These volumes were ~22,500 units compared to ~22,000 units in the same week last year. In contrast to the fall in US railroads’ railcars, Norfolk Southern reported a rise in that category in the 35th week of 2017.
Advancing and declining commodity groups
In the 35th week, Norfolk Southern witnessed positive volumes in chemicals, crushed stone, sand and gravel, grain mill products, grain, and metals and products. Commodity groups such as food and kindred products; motor vehicles (TSLA) and equipment; petroleum products (UNG); and stone, clay, and glass products reported lower volumes in the same week.
Intermodal volumes in week 35
In the week ended September 2, 2017, Norfolk Southern reported a 4.2% rise in intermodal traffic. Overall, intermodal volumes were ~81,000 trailers and containers against ~78,000 units in the week ended September 3, 2016.
For Norfolk Southern, trailers contribute less than 10.0% of the total intermodal volumes. Trailers reported an 18.3% rise in traffic in week 35 of 2017 to ~7,500 units, from ~6,300 units in the same week last year. Along with trailers, container traffic rose ~3.0% in the reported week. Norfolk Southern moved ~74,000 containers compared to ~72,000 units in the 35th week of 2016.
For the first 35 weeks of 2017, Norfolk Southern reported a 4.8% rise in intermodal volumes. Those volumes were 3.4% for US railroads (BRK-B).
Next, we’ll look at CSX’s (CSX) volumes.