How GWR’s North American Carloads Trended in November 2017



GWR’s North American carloads

In November 2017, Genesee & Wyoming’s (GWR) North American freight traffic fell 5% YoY (year-over-year). The company moved more than 130,000 railcars that month, compared with nearly 137,000 railcars in November 2016. Since the carload growth from new railroads was marginal, the company’s same railroad operations and reported volumes came in almost equal.

Most notable was the fact that in the fourth quarter through November 2017, GWR’s North American operations fell 1.6%. During that period, the company hauled ~272,000 railcars, which was ~4,300 railcars lower than the 267,500 railcars we saw in the fourth quarter through November 2016.

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Change in GWR’s traffic

Coal (BTU) has consistently made a hole in GWR’s North American freight volumes. Percentage-wise, metallic ores carloads fell the most (21.6%), followed by coal carloads. But what matters is the percentage of the carload commodity group in overall carloads. Coal carloads made up 13.2% of North American carloads for GWR.

GWR’s coal traffic fell 20.4% in November 2017. The company hauled nearly 17,300 coal and coke carloads last month, compared with ~21,700 carloads in November 2016. Coal and coke volumes declined on account of reduced shipments of utility coal in GWR’s Midwest region.

These commodity groups posted volume rises in November 2017:

  • auto and auto parts (TM)
  • food and kindred products
  • lumber and forest products
  • minerals and stone
  • pulp and paper

The freight volumes of these commodity groups fell:

  • agricultural products
  • chemicals and plastics
  • metals
  • petroleum products (SLB)
  • coal and metallic ore

ETF discussion

Investors eyeing transportation and logistics stocks can consider the iShares US Industrials ETF (IYJ). Prominent US rail carriers make up 6.3% of IYJ’s portfolio holdings.

In the next part, we’ll consider GWR’s UK and European freight traffic in November 2017.


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