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Union Pacific’s Carload Traffic Slows Down in Week 46

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UNP’s carload traffic in Week 46

Omaha-based Union Pacific (UNP) reported a slight 1% fall in carload volumes, like BNSF Railway (BRK-B). UNP’s freight volumes stood at 95,700 units in the week ended November 18, 2017, versus 96,700 units in the week ended November 19, 2016. When compared with the carload loss reported by US railroad peers, Union Pacific’s volume drop was lower.

The company’s non-coal and non-coke carloads rose 1.5% to 71,100 units in the 46th week of 2017, compared with 70,000 units in the corresponding week last year. Coal and coke carloads, however, fell 7.7%. Union Pacific hauled 24,600 coal and coke railcars in Week 46, compared with 26,700 in the same week last year.

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Commodity groups’ ups and downs

These commodity groups posted volume gains in the 46th week:

  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • chemicals (DOW)
  • petroleum products (UNG)
  • stone, clay, and glass products
  • metal products

These commodity groups posted volume losses in the 46th week:

  • grain
  • grain mill products
  • lumber and wood products
  • pulp, paper, and allied products
  • motor vehicles and equipment

Week 46: Intermodal traffic

In contrast, Union Pacific registered a marginal gain in intermodal volumes in Week 46 of 2017. The company’s container and trailer traffic rose 0.7% to around 74,800 units from ~74,200 units in the corresponding week last year.

Containers, which accounted for 95% of intermodal volumes, recorded a slight rise (0.3%) in traffic to 71,200 units. Trailer volumes rose 11% to 3,500 units from ~3,200 units. Union Pacific’s overall freight traffic contracted 0.3% in Week 46 of 2017. In the next part, we’ll focus on Norfolk Southern (NSC).

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