uploads///NSC Carloads

How Norfolk Southern’s Freight Traffic Trended in Week 42

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Norfolk Southern’s freight traffic

Norfolk Southern, an Eastern US major railroad (NSC), reported almost no change in carloads hauled in the week ended October 21, 2017. The company’s railcar traffic expanded by 23 carloads to ~67,400 units in the 42nd week of 2017. This metric was slightly below 67,400 railcars in the week ended October 22, 2016.

Carloads other than coal and coke recorded a 1.3% fall in the reported week of 2017. These carloads normally account for ~70% of the total carloads of the company. NSC moved ~47,500 units in the 42nd week of 2017 compared with more than 48,100 units in the same week in 2016.

In the 42nd week of 2017, NSC’s coal and coke carloads expanded 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. The company moved ~20,000 units of coke and coal compared with slightly more than 19,000 units in the same week of 2016. 

Norfolk Southern’s railcars registered a tiny rise in percentage terms in week 42 of 2017, compared with the US railroads’ minuscule growth in the same category.

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Progressing and regressing commodity groups

These commodity groups reported higher volumes in the 42nd week of 2017:

  • chemicals (DOW)
  • grain mill products
  • iron and steel scrap
  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • stone, clay, and glass products

The groups with lower volumes year-over-year in the same week were:

  • grain
  • motor vehicle and equipment (TSLA)
  • waste and scrap materials
  • food and kindred products

NSC’s intermodal volumes in week 42

In the week ended October 21, 2017, Norfolk Southern reported a 5.1% gain in intermodal volumes. The company’s intermodal traffic was ~84,500 trailers and containers compared with more than 80,000 units in the week ended October 21, 2016.

For Norfolk Southern, containers contribute ~90% of total intermodal units while trailers share the remaining ~10%. Container traffic rose 3.5% in the reported week to 77,000 units from ~74,000 units in the 42nd week of 2016. 

Trailers posted a sharp 22.7% growth in volumes. NSC hauled nearly 8,100 trailers in week 42 of 2017 compared with 6,600 units in week 42 of 2016.

Norfolk Southern’s freight traffic, including intermodal, jumped 2.8% in the reported week of 2017 and almost equaled the rise reported by US railroads (IYJ).

In the coming part, we’ll focus on another eastern US rail carrier, CSX (CSX).

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