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Genesee & Wyoming: Its North American Freight Trends in October

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North American shipments

Genesee & Wyoming (GWR) operates in North America (excluding Mexico), the United Kingdom, parts of Europe, and parts of Australia. The company is well known for its inorganic growth strategy in the US railroad sector. A short line is an independent rail freight carrier that operates over a short distance.

In October 2017, Genesee & Wyoming recorded a slight fall of 1.7% in its North American freight traffic YoY (year-over-year). That month, GWR moved ~132,700 railcars compared with ~135,000 units in the same month last year. Note that we have considered the company’s same railroad operations for year-over-year comparison purposes.

Change in commodity groups

GWR’s North American coal (ANR) and coke carloads declined in the double digits (13.5%) in October 2017 compared with the same month last year. The company hauled 18,000 coal and coke railcars the same month compared with ~20,700 carloads in the same month last year. Coal volumes fell due to reduced shipments of utility coal in GWR’s Midwest region.

Carloads of agricultural products fell to ~2,700 carloads (13.2%) due to reduced grain shipments in GWR’s Central and Midwest regions. Minerals and stone volumes increased ~2,200 carloads (12.4%) due to higher shipments of aggregates in the company’s Central and Western regions and increased volumes of fractionating sand in its Northeast region.

Other commodity groups that posted higher volumes were auto and auto parts (TM), lumber and forest products, metals, chemicals (DOW), and plastics, pulp, and paper. The groups where YoY volumes fell in October 2017 were food and kindred products, metallic ores, and petroleum products (UNG).

In the next and final part of this series, we’ll look at GWR’s European carloads in October 2017.

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