uploads///NSC Carloads

A Summary of Norfolk Southern’s Freight Traffic in Week 52

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Jan. 12 2018, Updated 11:10 a.m. ET

Norfolk Southern’s freight traffic

In the final week of 2017, Eastern US giant Norfolk Southern (NSC) posted a 9.5% decline in carload traffic. The company moved 47,200 carloads that week, compared with ~52,200 carloads in the 52nd week of 2016.

While NSC’s carload traffic tanked ~10%, rival CSX reported a 15.7% loss in carload volumes. In 2017, NSC outpaced rival CSX’s (CSX) railcar traffic growth.

The company’s carloads excluding coal and coke fell 9.2% in the 52nd week of 2017. Norfolk Southern hauled ~34,300 units of these commodity groups, compared with 37,700 units in the same week of 2016.

Its coal and coke carloads contracted 10.2% in the 52nd week to ~13,000 units, compared with ~14,500 units during the corresponding week of last year. Coal and coke carloads accounted for 28% of NSC’s total carloads, while CSX’s comparable figure was ~26% in the final week of 2017.

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Change in Norfolk Southern’s freight traffic

The commodity groups that boosted NSC’s total carloads in week 52 included:

  • grain mill products
  • pulp, paper, and allied products
  • waste and scrap material

The commodity groups wherein freight volumes declined included:

  • chemicals (HUN)
  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • food and kindred products (ADM)
  • grain
  • motor vehicles and equipment (TSLA)

Intermodal traffic in the 52nd week of 2017

Norfolk Southern registered a 5.5% fall in its intermodal volumes in the 52nd week of 2017. The railroad hauled ~57,000 trailers and containers that week, compared with 60,300 units during the same week of 2016.

Containers accounted for ~91% of NSC’s intermodal volumes for the week, and container traffic fell 5.2%, while trailers contracted 7.5% year-over-year. NSC’s carload traffic and intermodal volume gains were 4.5% and 5.3% respectively—almost on par with the gains reported by US railroads (XTN) overall.

In the next part, we’ll cover CSX’s (CSX) railcar traffic for the 52nd or final week of 2017.

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