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Analysing Canadian National Railway’s Railcar Volumes in Week 16


Apr. 30 2018, Updated 9:01 a.m. ET

CNI’s carload traffic in Week 16

Canada’s largest railroad, Canadian National Railway (CNI), recorded carload traffic growth in Week 16. The railroad’s railcar traffic excluding intermodal rose 2.9% YoY (year-over-year) to 64,400 units from ~62,900. In comparison, rival Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) registered a 3.8% carload loss in Week 16. Whereas CNI’s carload gains were in line with US railroads’, they contrasted with the losses reported by Canadian railroads in Week 16.

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Carloads excluding coal (BTU) and coke comprised 89% of CNI’s total carloads in Week 16, whereas coal-and-coke carloads comprised 11%. Coal-and-coke carloads grew by double digits, by 17.3% YoY to 7,100 units from ~6,100. Carloads other than coal and coke rose 0.9% YoY to ~57,300 units from ~56,800.

Changes in CNI’s carload commodity groups

The following commodity volumes rose in Week 16:

  • metals and minerals
  • non-metallic minerals
  • grain mill products

The following commodity volumes fell in Week 16:

  • forest products
  • chemicals
  • petroleum products
  • automotive
  • farm products
  • grain
  • food and kindred products

Intermodal volumes in Week 16

Over the past several weeks, Canadian National Railway’s intermodal traffic growth rate has decreased, and Week 16 of 2018 wasn’t an exception. In that week, the company’s intermodal traffic rose 1.0% YoY from ~47,500 containers and trailers to 48,000. Unlike other railroads (GWR), CNI’s intermodal volumes are represented by containers only.

CNI’s railcar volumes including intermodal rose 3.3% in the first 16 weeks of 2018, on par with US railroads’ (IYJ) 3% rise and Canadian railroads’ 2.7% rise. In the last part of this weekly railroad series, we’ll compare Canadian Pacific Railway’s volumes with the industry’s.


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