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Here's What Drove Growth in US Rail Freight in Week 39

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Part 3
Here's What Drove Growth in US Rail Freight in Week 39 PART 3 OF 8

Behind CSX’s Shipment Decline in Week 39

CSX’s railcars in week 39

Norfolk Southern arch-rival CSX (CSX) operates ~21,000 route miles in the Eastern US. The company posted a 3.9% decline in railcar volumes in last week, or the 39th week of 2017 (ended September 30, 2017). CSX moved 69,000 railcars last week, compared with ~72,000 in the week ended October 1, 2016.

CSX’s carloads excluding coal and coke fell 6% last week, hauling only 53,000 railcars, compared with ~56,000 units in the same week last year. Coal and coke volumes offered some respite, with a 3.8% gain in carloads. Coal and coke traffic reached ~16,000 railcars, up from nearly 15,700 units in the same week of 2016.

Behind CSX&#8217;s Shipment Decline in Week 39

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Gaining and declining commodity groups

In the 39th week of 2017, the following commodity groups’ volumes ended in the green zone:

  • primary metal products
  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • iron and steel scrap
  • non-metallic minerals

The following commodity groups’ shipments were in the red zone last week:

  • grain
  • grain mill products
  • petroleum products (UGAZ)
  • waste and non-ferrous scrap
  • motor vehicles and parts (F) (TM)

Behind CSX&#8217;s Shipment Decline in Week 39

CSX’s intermodal volumes in the 39th week

CSX saw its intermodal traffic expand 6% in the week ended September 30, 2017. Compared with 54,600 trailers and containers in the week ended October 1, 2016, intermodal traffic rose to ~58,000 units in the 39th week of 2017.

Trailers contribute less than 5% of CSX’s intermodal traffic, the balance being born by containers. In the 39th week of 2017, container volumes rose 6.6% to ~56,000 units, up from 52,500 one year before. CSX’s trailer traffic contracted 8.5% to 1,900 trailers last week, compared with slightly more than 2,000 units the previous year.

Notably, Norfolk Southern’s volume gain was much higher than what CSX recorded for the 39th week of 2017.

Now, let’s move on to Union Pacific’s (UNP) freight traffic.

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