Inside Norfolk Southern’s Railcar Traffic Mix in Week 7



Norfolk Southern’s railcar traffic

Major Eastern US railroad Norfolk Southern (NSC) reported a very marginal loss of 0.2% in carload traffic in Week 7 of 2018. The company hauled ~68,000 carloads in that week. 

The carload loss posted by Norfolk Southern was lower than the 0.6% fall recorded by US railroads (GWR). Compared with rival CSX’s carload change, the decline in NSC’s carload traffic was much lower than Week 7 of 2018.

In the seventh week of 2018, carloads other than coal (BTU) and coke comprised 70.0% of total carloads whereas coal and coke carloads comprised 30.0%. This carload traffic declined 1.2%. 

From 48,200 carloads in 2017’s Week 7, Norfolk Southern hauled 47,600 units in 2018. However, coal and coke carloads saw a 2.1% expansion in volumes touching 20,300 units from nearly 20,000 units in 2017.

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Progressing and regressing commodity groups

The carload commodity groups that saw rising volumes were:

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

The volumes of these carload commodity groups were in the red zone:

  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • grain
  • iron and steel scrap
  • metals and products
  • motor vehicles and equipment

NSC’s intermodal volumes in Week 7

Norfolk Southern’s intermodal volumes were up 8.3% in the seventh week of 2018. The railroad hauled around 85,000 containers and trailers in the week, up from 78,500 units in 2017. 

Containers accounted for ~91.0% of total traffic while trailers’ share was 9.0%. Container traffic was up 7.6% to 77,000 units in 2018 from 71,500 units in 2017. Trailer volumes went up 15.6% to ~8,000 units from 6,900 units in 2017.

On an overall basis, Norfolk Southern recorded a 4.3% railcar traffic gain in Week 7 of 2017. This was slightly higher than the gains reported by US railroads (FXR) in that week.

In the next part, we’ll focus on CSX’s (CSX) railcar traffic.


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