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Kansas City Southern’s Traffic against Industry Volumes in Week 1

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Kansas City Southern’s traffic

The first week of 2018 closed on a weak note for Kansas City Southern (KSU). KSU is the smallest Class I railroad in the United States and has solid Mexican operations. The company recorded a 1.8% loss in carload traffic in the week ended January 6, 2018. From ~22,700 carloads in 2017, it hauled ~22,200 carloads in the first week of 2018.

Carloads excluding coal and coke accounted for 81% of KSU’s carloads in the first week of 2018 compared to 76% last year. These carloads posted a 4.8% rise to ~18,000 units, from ~17,200 carloads in the first week of 2017. Its coal and coke carloads declined sharply by 22.5% in the first week of 2018. From ~5,500 carloads in 2017, it hauled ~4,200 coal and coke carloads in the first week of 2018.

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Advancing and declining commodity groups

Kansas City Southern registered shipment gains in the following commodity groups:

  • grain
  • petroleum products
  • metals and products

These commodity groups witnessed volume losses in the first week of 2018:

  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • grain mill products
  • chemicals and allied products
  • stone, clay, and glass products

KSU’s intermodal traffic

Kansas City Southern recorded a slight gain of 0.12% in its intermodal traffic in the first week of 2018. Container traffic declined marginally by 1% to ~12,500 units from ~12,700 units last year. Trailer volumes soared 68.3%, although trailers hardly make up KSU’s intermodal traffic.

The company’s total railcar traffic, including intermodal, declined 1.1% compared to 4.6% for US railroads (IYJ) in the first week of 2018.

In the next part, we’ll look at freight volumes for Canadian National Railway (CNI).

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