Week 9: CSX’s Freight Volumes Trended in Contrast with Industry



CSX’s carload traffic in Week 9

Eastern US major railroad company CSX Corporation (CSX) continues to see a declining trend in its carload traffic in 2018. In the week ended March 3, 2018, the company saw a 4% drop in its carload traffic.

Compared to more than 71,500 carloads in 2017’s Week 9, CSX moved 68,700 carloads in Week 9 of 2018. Compared to rival Norfolk Southern (NSC) in terms of percentage, CSX’s carload traffic loss was higher.

CSX’s shipment loss stood in sharp contrast to the minor 1.3% gain clocked by US railroad companies in the week. Given CSX’s recent freight volume data, it appears that CEO James Foote has a tough task ahead to bring back customers.

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In the ninth week of 2018, a 9% rise in coal (ARLP) and coke carloads offered some respite. These carloads totaled 16,600 in the reported week compared to 15,200 carloads in Week 9 of 2017. Coal carloads made up 24.2% of total carloads, whereas other than coal and coke carloads made up 75.8%. These carloads saw a 7.5% contraction in traffic totaling ~52,100 units compared to 56,300 units last year.

Rises and falls in carload commodity groups

For CSX, the following carload commodity groups pushed volumes in Week 9:

  • grain mill products
  • lumber and wood products
  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel

The following commodity groups pulled down overall shipments:

  • grain
  • chemicals
  • petroleum and petroleum products
  • primary metal products
  • motor vehicles and parts

CSX’s intermodal traffic in Week 9

While other Class I railroad companies saw decent gains in intermodal traffic, this wasn’t the case for CSX. In Week 9 of 2018, the company registered a slight 0.12% expansion in its intermodal volumes. It hauled ~54,800 containers and trailers in the week, almost equating to last year’s volumes. There was no change in its container traffic, which was 52,800 units in Week 9 of 2018. Its trailer volumes rose 4.1% to 2,000 units in the week compared to 1,950 units in the previous year.

In the ninth week of 2018, CSX reported an overall 2.2% loss of railcar traffic compared to the 5.8% overall rise reported by US railroad companies (XLI).

In the next article, we’ll assess Kansas City Southern’s (KSU) freight traffic.


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