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What Happened to CSX’s Trailers and Containers in Week 26

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CSX’s intermodal volumes

For the week ended July 1, 2017, CSX (CSX) registered a ~6% rise in overall intermodal traffic. The company’s intermodal traffic came to nearly 57,000 containers and trailers, compared with 53,500 units in the same week of last year.

CSX witnessed a volume growth in containers but not in trailers. The company’s container volumes expanded 6.2% in the 26th week of 2017 to ~55,000 units from nearly 52,000 units in the same week last year.

CSX hauled 34 fewer trailers, reporting a fall of 1.7% in the week ended July 1, 2017. CSX’s intermodal grew at a lower rate than did Norfolk Southern (NSC), but its intermodal growth was slightly higher than the rise registered by US railroads in the same category.

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CSX’s cumulative intermodal volumes

CSX’s total intermodal volumes expressed in containers and trailers rose 1.4% in the first six months of 2017. This is actually lower than the 2.7% rise reported by US railroads during the same period. Surprisingly, trailers recorded a 7.5% fall in volumes in the first 26 weeks of 2017.

With the positive changes in international trade on Easter US coasts, CSX expects its international intermodal volumes to growth higher than domestic volumes in the second half of 2017. The implementation of trucking regulations such as the ELD (electronic logging device), however, could result in capacity tightening in the trucking sector (JBHT), but it could also boost the company’s domestic intermodal business.

ETF investment

Investors interested in exposure to transportation and logistics stocks can consider the VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF (MOAT), which has the entire US-originated railroad in its portfolio.

In the next part, we’ll look at largest freight rail in the US, Union Pacific’s (UNP).

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