Union Pacific: How Its Railcar Traffic Trended in Week 7



Union Pacific: Carloads in Week 7

Freight rail giant Union Pacific (UNP) recorded a marginal 1.1% gain in carload traffic in the seventh week of 2018. The company hauled ~97,000 railcars excluding intermodal units in that week. In the same week in 2017, UNP moved ~96,000 railcars.

In the seventh week of 2018, Union Pacific’s carload traffic expansion was in contrast with the slight contraction reported by US railroads (GWR). The company’s gain stood up compared with the carload traffic change of its prime competitor, BNSF Railway.

The share of carloads other than coal (BTU) and coke was up 2.6% to 74.8% in 2018 compared with 72.3% in 2017. Coal and coke traffic was 25.2% of total carloads in 2018 compared with 27.7% in 2017. 

These carloads’ traffic rose 4.6% to 72,500 units from over 69,300 units in 2017. However, the coal and coke carloads witnessed an 8.0% decline to ~24,500 units from 26,600 units in Week 7 of 2017.

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Ups and downs in carload commodity groups

These commodity groups pushed the freight volumes upward:

  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • food and kindred products
  • lumber and wood products
  • chemicals
  • petroleum products

Following commodity groups registered carload loss:

  • grain mill products
  • pulp, paper, and allied products
  • stone, clay, and glass products
  • motor vehicles and equipment

UNP’s intermodal traffic in Week 7

In the seventh week of 2018, Union Pacific (UNP) registered a 5.2% expansion in intermodal traffic. The company hauled 75,300 trailers and containers in that week compared with 71,600 units in the corresponding week of 2017. 

Containers accounting for 95.7% of UNP’s total intermodal traffic gained 4.7%. The company moved more than 72,000 containers compared with 68,900 units. Trailers saw a 17.9% jump in volumes to ~3,300 trailers from 2,800 trailers in 2017.

On an overall basis, Union Pacific’s total freight volumes including intermodal rose 2.8%. This was lower than the gains derived by US railroads (XLI) in Week 7 of 2018.

Coming next is an update on Norfolk Southern’s (NSC) shipments.


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