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Inside Genesee & Wyoming’s May 2017 Freight Volumes

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GWR’s North American carloads

Genesee & Wyoming (GWR) operates in North America except Mexico, the UK, and parts of Europe and Australia. Although it is not a Class I railroad, it is often compared with other US Class I railroads (UNP) (NSC) due to its scale of operation. 

In May 2017, Genesee & Wyoming’s North American traffic contracted 1.1% YoY (year-over-year). The company moved more than 128,000 railcars in May 2017. In the same period in 2016, it hauled ~130,000 railcars.

Genesee & Wyoming is the only railroad that extensively engages in acquisitions. For easy comparison, we have compared the periodic data of the same railroad operations.

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GWR’s coal exposure

In 2016, coal transportation (ARLP) declined for all major US railroads, including Genesee & Wyoming. In May 2017, coal formed ~10% of GWR’s North American carloads against 11.2% in the comparable period in 2016. Coal carloads for GWR fell 13.6% in May 2017 on a year-over-year basis.

GWR’s coal and coke volumes contracted mostly due to reduced shipments of utility coal in the company’s Central region. A planned maintenance outage at a prominent customer’s plant was favorably offset by higher shipments in GWR’s Midwest region.

Change in commodity groups

Volumes of minerals and stone, automotive, agricultural products, chemicals and plastic, and waste and scrap increased in May 2017. On the other hand, a significant fall was recorded by metallic ores as its volumes dropped 33%. 

The metals volume fell due to lower shipments in Genesee & Wyoming’s (GWR) Southern, Coastal, and Canada regions. Volumes of petroleum products (UNG), metals, and pulp and paper declined in May 2017.

In the final article in this series, we’ll look at GWR’s European carloads in May 2017.

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