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Comparing CSX’s Intermodal Volumes with NSC in Week 23

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CSX’s intermodal volumes

In the week ended June 10, 2017, CSX’s (CSX) intermodal volumes rose 3.9%. The company’s overall intermodal volumes crossed 55,000, compared to more than 53,000 units in the week ended June 11, 2016.

Container units witnessed an expansion of 4.5%. However, CSX’s trailer volumes reached 1,900 units, down 10.4% in sharp contrast to its close rival Norfolk Southern (NSC). NSC’s trailer volumes rose 14.6% in the reported week. Compared with the overall US railroads, CSX reported a lower percentage increase in intermodal volumes in week 23.

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CSX and intermodal volumes

After posting a 7% rise in 1Q17 intermodal revenues to $434.0 million, CSX is expecting improvement in its intermodal revenues in 2Q17. However, the company wasn’t able to grow its domestic intermodal volumes on a year-over-year basis in 2Q17 through May 12, 2017. 

CSX’s international intermodal volumes rose 4% during the same period. This trend indicates that the domestic intermodal scenario remains tough, whereas the international front seems promising.

Excess truck capacity has been affecting intermodal growth prospects for the major US railroads (GWR). CSX foresees a few short-haul volume losses in the domestic intermodal space over the next few quarters.

The company believes that the implementation of trucking regulations, including the use of electronic logging devices, could tighten truck capacity (JBHT) in the second half of 2017. These regulations could lead to higher intermodal volumes.

ETF investment

If you prefer broad-based exposure to the transportation space, you may want to consider the VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF (MOAT). All major US-originated railroads are included in MOAT’s portfolio.

Continue reading for an update on Union Pacific’s (UNP) carloads in week 23.

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