The Latest on Canadian Pacific’s Freight Volumes



Canadian Pacific’s railcars

In this concluding part of our weekly North American freight rail series, we’ll turn to Canadian Pacific (CP). CP’s total freight traffic fell 1.3% YoY (year-over-year) in the week ended July 8, 2017. CP hauled nearly 29,000 railcars that week, which is similar to what we saw during the corresponding week of last year.


Canadian Pacific’s carloads other than coal declined 0.6% to ~22,500 railcars. CP’s slump in railcar volumes was not in line with the rise reported by US and Canadian railroads overall last week.

As a result of its change in weekly carloads, we have included its intermodal traffic along with its railcar volumes in this series. In May 2017, CP stopped reporting domestic and international intermodal volumes separately.

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Weekly changes in commodity groups

CP’s commodity groups with higher volumes in the week ended July 8, 2017, were:

  • grain
  • metals and minerals
  • consumer products

The declining commodity groups were:

  • potash
  • forest products
  • energy, plastic, and minerals
  • automotive

CP’s intermodal volumes

Canadian Pacific witnessed an intermodal traffic fall of 7% last week, with its total intermodal traffic sliding to ~17,000 containers and trailers, compared with ~18,000 units in the same week of 2016.

On the intermodal front, CP lags behind US and Canadian railroads, which reported volume gains in the 27th week of 2017.

ETF option

The SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN) has substantial exposure to US airlines (JBLU), trucking (JBHT), and railroads (NSC). This ETF has over 80% exposure to these three industries combined. Investors interested in indirectly holding US transportation stocks can consider investment in XTN.

This railroad series has included the freight rail data for all the US Class I railroads for the 27th week of 2017 (ended on July 8). For ongoing updates on the railroad sector, please visit Market Realist’s Railroads page.


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