uploads///CSX Intermodal

Why CSX’s Intermodal Volumes Rose in Week 27


Jul. 18 2017, Updated 7:37 a.m. ET

CSX’s intermodal volumes

CSX’s (CSX) intermodal traffic registered a 3.7% YoY (year-over-year) gain in the week ended July 8, 2017. CSX moved nearly 47,000 trailers and containers, compared with over 45,000 units in the same week last year.

While the number of containers increased, trailer volumes declined. CSX’s container volumes grew 4.1% in the 27th week of 2017 to above 45,000 units, up from ~43,500 containers in the same week last year.

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CSX moved 114 fewer trailers last week, representing a 6.5% YoY fall in the week ended July 8, 2017. Compared with Norfolk Southern’s (NSC) slight decline in intermodal volumes, CSX reported a rise intermodal volumes. Compared with the 3.7% rise in US railroad intermodal volumes, CSX’s rise was almost equal.

CSX’s cumulative intermodal volumes

In the first 27 weeks of 2017, CSX’s overall intermodal volumes (containers and trailers) rose 1.5%. If we compare this with the 2.7% rise reported by US railroads, CSX actually lagged in intermodal traffic in the current fiscal. Containers grew 1.8%, but trailers declined 7.4% in the same period of 2017.

The traffic on the US East Coast will likely rise due to the Panama Canal expansion. CSX expects the rise in traffic to boost its international intermodal business in coming quarters. However, the concerning pace of highway-to-rail conversions will most likely hamper the company’s domestic business until fuel prices show sustainable strength.

Meanwhile, the electronic logging device mandate on trucks should also affect truck services (JBHT), thus benefiting CSX’s domestic intermodal business in 2H17.

You can opt for the VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF (MOAT) for indirect exposure to US-originated railroads.

In the next part, we’ll discuss Union Pacific (UNP).


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