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Canadian National Railway’s Freight Volume Trends in Week 13

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Canadian National Railway’s carload traffic in Week 13

Canadian National Railway (CNI), Canada’s largest rail freight carrier, saw its carload traffic rise 5.6% YoY (year-over-year) in Week 13 of 2018, to 64,500 railcars (excluding intermodal) from 61,100. In contrast, Canadian Pacific Railway’s (CP) carload traffic fell 2.2%. Canadian National’s carload volumes rose more than Canadian railroads overall in Week 13 of 2018.

For Canadian National Railway, volumes rose across categories. Carloads other than coal (BTU) and coke rose 4.9% YoY to 58,000 units in 2018 from ~55,300. Coal and coke carloads, which account for ~10% of CNI’s total carloads, rose 12.3% YoY to 6,600 units from ~5,800.

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Changes in Canadian National Railway’s carload commodity groups

The following carload commodity volumes rose in Week 13:

  • pulp and paper products
  • metals and minerals
  • grain mill products

The following carload commodity volumes fell in Week 13:

  • forest products
  • chemicals
  • petroleum products
  • automotive

Intermodal volumes

Over the past several weeks, Canadian National Railway’s intermodal traffic growth has slowed. In Week 13 of 2018, the company’s intermodal traffic rose 6.2% YoY from 45,900 containers and trailers to 48,700. Unlike other railroads (GWR), CNI’s intermodal volumes are represented by containers only.

In the first 13 weeks of 2018, Canadian National Railway’s total railcar traffic grew 9.5%, whereas US and Canadian railroads (XTN) saw their traffic rise 2.6% overall. In the final part of this series, we’ll look at Canadian Pacific Railway’s shipments.

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