Where BNSF Railway’s Shipments Stood amid the Industry in Week 43
Week 43: BNSF Railway’s carloads
In the week ended October 28, 2017, BNSF Railway (BRK-B) reported a 3.5% decline in railcar volumes. This shipment drop was in line with the volume loss reported by US railroads in that week. Railcar volumes fell to ~96,000 units, compared with ~99,000 railcars in the week ended October 29, 2016.
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In the 43rd week of 2017, the fall in carloads other than coal and coke triggered a freight volume loss for BNSF Railway. These carloads fell 17.8% to ~52,000 units, compared with 63,400 in the corresponding week of last year.
However, coal and coke carloads saw a strong 21.5% growth in volume, reaching ~44,000 units, compared with ~36,000 units during the same week last year.
Notably, the coal volume growth of BNSF Railway and Union Pacific (UNP) has been shrinking in the past few weeks. Coal accounts for the highest share in BNSF’s total carloads among all class-I railroads. In the 43rd week, coal accounted for 45.4%, compared with 36.1% in the corresponding week of last year.
Change in commodity groups
The commodity groups that reported volume gains in the 43rd week include:
The commodity groups with lower volumes in the same week include:
- petroleum products (UNG)
BNSF’s intermodal volumes
BNSF Railway’s intermodal volumes grew 5.5% in the 43rd week of 2017, and intermodal traffic grew to over 105,000 trailers and containers, compared with ~100,000 units in the 43rd week of 2016.
BNSF Railway saw its container volumes expand 4.5% to ~93,000, compared with ~89,000 units in the 43rd week of 2016. Trailers accounted for over 10% of intermodal volumes, reporting 13.7% higher volumes.
In the next part, we’ll move on to Union Pacific (UNP).