BNSF Railway’s railcar volumes
Berkshire Hathaway’s privately owned BNSF Railway (BRK.B) dominates the Western United States, competing with Union Pacific (UNP). The company’s railcar traffic expanded marginally 1.6% in the week ended September 16, 2017. From ~99,000 railcars hauled in the week ended September 17, 2016, BNSF hauled ~101,000 units in the same week in 2017.
BNSF’s carloads sans coal and coke rose 5.3% to ~60,000 railcars in the 37th week of 2017. This metric was ~57,000 units in the same week last year. In contrast with the other-than-coal carloads, the company’s coal and coke volumes fell 3.4%, reaching ~40,500 railcars in the reported week of 2017 compared with ~42,000 carloads last year.
While Union Pacific’s (UNP) volumes declined in the 37th week, BNSF registered growth. Compared with the overall US railroads’ change in volumes, BNSF registered a volume rise compared to US railroads.
BNSF’s intermodal volumes
BNSF Railway saw a 9.6% rise in overall intermodal volumes in the week ended September 16, 2017. Trailers and containers totaled ~105,500 that week compared to ~96,000 units in the week ended September 17, 2016.
In BNSF’s intermodal traffic mix, containers contribute ~90.0% of the total volumes. In the 37th week of 2017, these volumes rose 9.4% to ~94,000 containers from ~86,000 units last year. Trailer volumes rose in the double digits by 11.1% to ~12,000 units in the reported week of 2017.
Compared with US railroads’ ~1.0% rise in intermodal volumes, BNSF’s intermodal traffic rose much more in Week 37 of 2017.