12 Aug

How Did Genesee & Wyoming’s North American Carloads Compare in July 2016?

WRITTEN BY Samuel Prince

GWR’s North American carloads

In July 2016, Genesee & Wyoming’s (GWR) North American traffic fell by 5.8% over the same period last year. The company hauled more than 131,000 railcars in July 2016, as compared to over 139,000 railcars one year ago. Other-than-coal carloads didn’t shine in July 2016 either. These railcars reported a fall of 5.3% in July 2016 as against the corresponding period last year.

How Did Genesee & Wyoming’s North American Carloads Compare in July 2016?

GWR’s coal carloads

The company’s North American operations’ July volumes were pulled down by coal and coke carloads. This commodity group reported an 8.7% fall in the same period compared with July 2015. The decline in coal was mainly due to decreased shipments of utility coal in GWR’s Midwest and Northeast regions. Coal and coke carloads constituted 20.0% and 16.3% of the company’s total carloads in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Revenue wise, coal and coke remained in the 10%–13% range for the same periods.

Railroads like Norfolk Southern (NSC), CSX Corporation (CSX), Kansas City Southern (KSU), Canadian National Railway (CNI), and Union Pacific (UNP) provide traffic data on a weekly basis. But Genesee & Wyoming report on a monthly basis. Also, GWR is not a Class I railroad, unlike the other railroads that we’ve discussed, but given its area of operations, GWR is often compared with Class I rail carriers.

Frontrunner commodity groups

The company recorded a positive change in volumes in three out of 15 commodity groups. These include agriculture products (rise of 13.3%), petroleum products (rise of 0.3%), and waste (up 11.3%). Agricultural product traffic rose due to higher grain shipments in GWR’s Midwest and Mountain West regions and DDG shipments in the company’s Pacific region.

Reduced shipments of utility coal in GWR’s Midwest and Northeast region led to the fall in coal carloads in July 2016. GWR’s metals railcars declined due to reduced shipments of scrap steel and coils. Minerals and stone traffic declined mainly due to reduced shipments construction aggregates in GWR’s Central regions.

Investors with an eye on the transportation sector can opt for the iShares US Industrials ETF (IYJ). Major US railroads make up nearly 5.5% of IYJ’s portfolio holdings.

In the next and final part of this series, we’ll look at Genesee & Wyoming’s Australian carloads.

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