These Commodities Boosted Union Pacific’s Carload Traffic in Week 50



Union Pacific’s carload traffic

In the week ended December 16, 2017, major western US railroad Union Pacific (UNP) saw an 8.1% rise in carload traffic. Compared with rival BNSF Railway (BRK-B), UNP posted higher carload gains in the 50th week of 2017. The company’s volumes were 96,000 railcars in that week compared with ~89,000 units in the corresponding week last year. UNP’s carload growth was almost double the rise registered by US railroads in the reported week this year. The comparative carload data reveals that UNP lost some carload traffic to rival BNSF in 2017.

The Omaha-headquartered company’s other than coal and coke grew 6.7% to 71,000 plus units from over 66,600 units in week 50 of 2016. UNP’s coal and coke volumes rose 12.4%, touching 25,000 units compared with around 22,200 units last year.

Change in carload commodity groups

UNP observed the rise in the following carload commodity groups:

  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • lumber and wood products
  • chemicals (DOW)
  • petroleum products (UNG)
  • metals and products

The following commodity groups reported volume loss:

  • grain
  • grain mill products
  • food and kindred products
  • motor vehicles and equipment (TSLA)

Intermodal traffic in week 50

Union Pacific’s intermodal traffic expanded slightly in week 50 of 2017. The company hauled around 75,000 trailers and containers in that week compared with over 73,300 units in the 50th week of 2016.

Container volumes jumped 2% for Union Pacific in the reported week. From ~70,000 containers in the 50th week last year, the company hauled ~71,200 units in 2017. Trailer volumes expanded 7% to 3,700 units from 3,500 units last year. UNP’s intermodal volume rise was far lower than the growth reported by US railroads in week 50 of 2017.

The next article discusses Norfolk Southern’s (NSC) freight traffic.

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