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Union Pacific’s Railcars Compared to the Industry in Week 10

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Union Pacific‘s carloads in Week 10

Omaha-headquartered Union Pacific (UNP) is a major Western US railroad and a rival of BNSF Railway (BRK.B). Union Pacific posted a minor 0.7% gain in carload traffic in the week ended March 10, 2018, or Week 10. It hauled ~94,100 railcars, excluding intermodal units that week compared with ~93,500 units in the week ended March 11, 2017. Compared with rival BNSF Railway’s (BRK.B) 6.4% carload traffic gains, UNP’s rise in the same category was far lower in Week 10 of 2018.

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For Union Pacific, other than coal and coke carloads contributed 76.4% to its total carloads. Coal and coke carloads were 23.6% of its overall carloads. In Week 10 of 2017, those shares were 78.1% and 21.9%, respectively. The 1.6% decline in carloads excluding coal and coke was offset by an 8.6% rise in coal and coke carload traffic. Union Pacific moved ~72,000 other than coal and coke carloads from ~73,000 carloads in 2017. Coal and coke carloads were ~22,200 units in 2018 compared with ~20,400 carloads last year.

Carload commodity groups

Carload commodity groups that pushed overall carloads were the following:

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

These commodity groups pulled down carloads:

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

Union Pacific’s intermodal volumes

For carload traffic gains, Union Pacific witnessed a double-digit 11% rise in intermodal traffic. It moved ~75,700 containers and trailers that week compared with ~68,200 units in the same week last year. Containers dominate UNP’s intermodal traffic mix, accounting for 95.7% of intermodal volumes. In Week 10 of 2018, Union Pacific moved ~72,400 containers from ~65,400 units last year. Trailer volumes rose 20.6% to ~3,300 units from ~2,800 units last year.

In Week 10 of 2018, UNP’s shipments, including intermodal, saw a 5% rise. That was slightly lower than the 6.2% rise reported by US railroads (XTN).

Next, let’s take a look at Norfolk Southern’s (NSC) shipments.

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