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A Summary of Union Pacific’s Railcar Traffic in Week 2

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Union Pacific’s railcar traffic

Omaha-headquartered Union Pacific (UNP) saw its carload traffic rise 3.4% in the week ended January 13, 2018. The company moved ~91,000 carloads that week, compared with ~87,800 carloads in the week ended January 14, 2017. Union Pacific saw a higher railcar traffic rise than rival BNSF Railway (BRK-B) in the second week of 2018.

Union Pacific’s carloads, excluding coal and coke, rose 9.3% to ~68,500 units in Week 2 of 2018 from ~62,600 units in Week 2 of 2017. Coal and coke carloads, which comprised ~25% of the company’s total carloads, fell 11.4% from ~25,200 carloads in 2017’s Week 2 to 22,300 carloads in 2018’s Week 2. The company’s carloads traffic gains contrasted sharply with the volume changes reported by other US railroads (XTN).

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Changes in carload commodity groups

The following commodity groups posted volume gains:

  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • lumber and wood products
  • chemicals (DWDP)
  • petroleum products
  • metals and products

The following commodity groups posted volume losses:

  • grain
  • grain mill products
  • pulp, paper, and allied products

UNP’s intermodal volumes

Union Pacific’s intermodal traffic rose 1.7% in Week 2 of 2018, less than rival BNSF Railway’s. Union Pacific hauled ~72,200 trailers and containers that week, compared with ~71,000 in Week 2 of 2017.

Its container traffic rose 2% to ~69,000 units in 2018’s Week 2 from ~67,600 units in 2017’s Week 2, while its trailer traffic fell 4.3% to ~3,300 trailers from 3,400. UNP’s overall freight volumes rose 2.6%, while US railroads’ volumes rose 0.5%. In the next article, we’ll look at Norfolk Southern (NSC).

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