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How KSU’s Freight Volumes Compared to Peers’ Volumes in Week 47


Dec. 5 2017, Updated 12:05 p.m. ET

KSU’s freight volumes in week 47

Kansas City Southern (KSU) posted 3.2% gains in the week ended November 25, 2017. The company’s carload traffic was up by 720 carloads to 23,000 railcars in that week from 22,300 units in the week ended November 26, 2016. Compared with US railroads’ (IYJ) marginal gain in the 47th week of 2017, Kansas City Southern reported much higher gains in that week.

The smallest Class I railroad’s carloads excluding coal and coke grew 4.1% to ~18,800 units in week 47 from 18,000 units in the same week last year. For Kansas City Southern, other than coal and coke carloads constitute nearly 80% of carload traffic. The remaining 20% balance comes from coal and coke carloads. Coal and coke carloads fell 0.5%, reaching nearly 4,250 units in the 47th week.

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Advancing and declining commodity groups

The company posted carload gains in these commodity groups:

  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • grain mill products
  • petroleum products (SLB)
  • stone, clay, and glass products
  • metals and products

These carload commodity groups exhibited lower volumes:

  • grain
  • chemicals and allied products (DOW)
  • motor vehicles and equipment

KSU’s intermodal traffic in week 47

KSU’s intermodal business contributed 55% of the total freight volumes in week 47. In the week ended November 25, 2017, the company’s intermodal traffic expanded by 5.2% to 19,000 containers and trailers in line with the carloads in the 47th week of 2017. In the week ended November 26, 2016, KSU moved nearly 18,000 intermodal units.

KSU’s container traffic rose 4.8%, reaching 18,500 units in week 47 from 17,600 units last year. Trailer volumes rose robustly by 25%, totaling 442 units. Trailers have less than a 3% share in KSU’s intermodal traffic mix with containers dominating its intermodal business. The company’s overall freight traffic including intermodal jumped 4.1% in the 47th week on a YoY (year-over-year) basis.

Next, we’ll discuss Canadian National Railway’s (CNI) freight volumes.


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