uploads///CNI Carloads

Canadian National Railway Sees Highest Volume Growth in Week 49


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 5:05 p.m. ET

CNI’s freight volumes in Week 49

Recently, Canada’s largest freight railway, Canadian National Railway (CNI), has seen its carload traffic fall YoY (year-over-year). However, in the last two weeks, the trend has reversed. In the week ended December 9, 2017, or Week 49, the railroad’s carload traffic grew 4.9% to ~62,600 carloads from ~59,700 units in the week ended December 10, 2016. CNI’s carload growth was higher than that seen by its US counterparts.

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In Week 49, coal (UNG) carloads pulled down its overall volumes again. CNI’s coal traffic fell 4.7% to ~6,200 carloads from ~6,500 carloads. Falling coal volumes have remained a weak point for Canadian National Railway in 2017. Coal and coke carloads account for less than 10% of CNI’s total carloads—the lowest proportion among Class I railroads. However, its carloads other than coal and coke rose 6.1% to ~56,500 railcars from ~53,200 railcars in 2016.

Changes in commodity groups

The following commodity groups recorded higher volumes in Week 49:

  • lumber and wood products
  • chemicals (DOW)
  • petroleum products
  • crushed stone
  • automotive (TSLA)

The following commodity groups recorded lower volumes in Week 49:

  • pulp and paper products
  • farm products
  • grain
  • food and kindred products

CNI’s intermodal volumes

Canadian National Railway witnessed higher YoY (year-over-year) intermodal traffic in the week ended December 9, 2017. Unlike other Class I railroads, the company’s intermodal traffic includes only containers. In the 49th week, CNI reported 20% gains in intermodal traffic, rising to ~50,600 containers from ~42,200 last year. CNI’s total railcar traffic rose 11.1%, the most among all Class I railroads. Rival Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) followed with a 10% volume rise.


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