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A Summary of Kansas City Southern’s Freight Volumes in Week 9

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Kansas City Southern’s carloads

Kansas City Southern (KSU) is the smallest Class I railroad company in the United States with operations in Mexico. In the ninth week of 2018, this US-Mexico commerce-on-rail registered a 4% fall in its carload traffic.

Compared to 25,800 carloads in Week 9 of 2017, the company hauled ~24,800 carloads in Week 9 of 2018. Note that percentage reduction in KSU’s carloads stood in contrast to the 1.3% carload traffic gain witnessed by US railroad companies (IYJ) overall in Week 9 of 2018.

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KSU’s overall traffic slipped into negative territory in most of the first eight weeks of 2018. Coal (BTU) carloads made up 13.9% of its total carloads, whereas other than coal and coke carloads accounted for 86.1%. These carload commodity groups excluding coal and coke gained 4.5% volumes and reached over 21,300 carloads. However, Kansas City Southern reported a huge 36% loss of coal and coke carloads in Week 9 of 2018. The company hauled 3,500 coal and coke carloads in 2018 compared to 5,400 carloads last year.

Rises and falls in carload commodity groups

The following carload commodity groups’ volume changes were in the green:

  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • chemicals and allied products
  • petroleum products
  • stone, clay, and glass products
  • motor vehicles and equipment
  • iron and steel scrap

These carload commodity groups were in the red zone:

  • grain
  • pulp, paper, and allied products
  • chemicals and allied products
  • metals and products

KSU’s intermodal traffic in Week 9

In contrast with the carload traffic decline, Kansas City Southern posted a strong 16% gain in intermodal volumes in the ninth week of 2018. The company hauled ~20,300 trailers and containers in that week compared to ~17,500 units in the corresponding week of 2017. Its container volumes expanded 16% to ~20,000 units. Its trailer traffic also jumped 19% in the week.

Kansas City Southern registered 4.1% growth in railcar traffic in the ninth week of 2018. This rise was somewhat lower than the overall 5.8% rise reported by US railroad companies (NSC).

In the next section, we’ll consider Canadian National Railway’s (CNI) railcar traffic.

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