uploads///NSC Carloads

BNSF Railway: Volume Growth Was Higher Than Industry’s in Week 37

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 3:44 p.m. ET

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.

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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.

ETF investment

If you want indirect exposure to transportation and logistics stocks, you can invest in the SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN). The ETF holds ~40.0% in key trucking (ODFL) and rail carrier (CSX) stocks in the United States.

Next, let’s look at Kansas City Southern’s (KSU) freight volumes.

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