uploads///UNP Carloads

Carload Traffic Boosts Union Pacific’s Freight Volumes in Week 49

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Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:52 a.m. ET

Union Pacific’s freight volumes

In Week 49 of 2017, Omaha-based Union Pacific (UNP) reported a 5% rise in carloads, whereas rival BNSF Railway (BRK-B) reported a 7% rise. UNP’s railcar volumes rose to ~97,000 carloads from ~92,500 in the same week last year. In 2017 so far, Union Pacific’s carload traffic gains have been lower than those reported by other US railroads (XTN). The data suggests that UNP lost some carload traffic to rival BNSF this year.

In Week 49, the company’s carloads, excluding coal and coke, rose 5.4% to ~72,000 units from ~68,000 units last year. Its coal and coke traffic rose 4% to ~25,100 units from ~24,200 units.

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Changes in commodity groups

The following commodity groups recorded higher volumes in Week 49:

  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • food and kindred products
  • lumber and wood products
  • chemicals
  • petroleum products (SLB)
  • motor vehicles and equipment

The following commodity groups recorded lower volumes in Week 49:

  • grain
  • grain mill products
  • pulp, paper, and allied products

Intermodal traffic

Union Pacific’s intermodal volumes grew marginally in Week 49 of 2017, to ~76,300 containers and trailers from ~76,000 units last year. Whereas container traffic fell 0.6% to ~72,200 units from ~72,600, trailer traffic rose 16.6% to ~4,100 units from ~3,500. In the next part, we’ll discuss Norfolk Southern’s (NSC) freight volumes.

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