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How CSX’s Freight Volumes Moved in Week 50

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CSX’s freight volumes in week 50

Jacksonville-based Eastern US rail giant CSX (CSX) has lost volumes to rival Norfolk Southern (NSC) in 2017. This was the result of CSX’s shift towards its precision schedule railroading model earlier this year. In the week ended December 16, 2017, the company carload change trended into negative territory. In that week, CSX’s carload traffic fell 1.4%. The company hauled ~70,200 carloads compared with ~71,200 carloads in the 50th week of 2016.

Much of the carload fall was attributed to the decline in coal and coke carloads. These carloads were down 6.1% to around 17,800 units from nearly 19,000 units in week 50 of last year. However, the carloads excluding coal and coke were marginally up by 0.3% totaling 52,400 units in the reported week. Compared with US railroads’ volume gain, CSX reported shipment loss in week 50 this year.

Ups and downs in carload commodity groups

CSX witnessed volume upside in these carload commodity groups:

  • chemicals (DOW)
  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • motor vehicles and parts (TM)
  • primary metal products

Lower volumes were noted by the following carload commodity groups:

  • grain
  • grain mill products
  • petroleum and petroleum products (UGAZ)
  • pulp and paper products
  • non-metallic minerals

CSX’s intermodal volumes

CSX reported a slight rise of 0.9% in the 50th week’s intermodal traffic. The railroad’s intermodal volumes were 55,000 containers and trailers in that week. Containers accounted for 95% of the company’s intermodal traffic mix, while trailers accounted for the remaining portion. Container traffic expanded 0.6%, whereas trailer volumes climbed 6.2% in the 50th week of 2017.

On the lines of carload growth, CSX’s intermodal volume gains too lagged behind the rise reported by US railroads.

In the next article, we’ll take a close look at Kansas City Southern’s (KSU) traffic.

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