Canadian Pacific: Intermodal Leads Volume Growth in Week 13



Canadian Pacific Railway’s carload volumes in Week 13

Canadian Pacific Railway’s (CP) carload traffic fell 2.1% YoY (year-over-year) in Week 13 of 2018, to ~33,800 carloads from ~34,500. In contrast, rival Canadian National Railway (CNI) saw its carload traffic rise 5.6% YoY, and US and Canadian railroads’ carload volumes rose.

Carloads excluding coal (ARLP) accounted for 79.4% of Canadian Pacific’s total carloads in Week 13, whereas coal carloads comprised 20.6%. Carloads excluding coal fell 5.9% YoY to 26,800 units from 28,500, and coal carloads rose 15.6% to ~7,000 units from ~6,000.

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Changes in Canadian Pacific Railway’s carload commodity groups

The following carload commodity volumes rose in Week 13:

  • potash
  • forest products
  • energy, chemical, and plastics

The following carload commodity volumes fell in Week 13:

  • grain
  • fertilizer and sulfur
  • metals, minerals, and consumer products
  • automotive

CP’s intermodal traffic in Week 13

Canadian Pacific Railway’s intermodal traffic rose decently, by 14% YoY, in Week 13 of 2018, to ~21,400 containers and trailers from ~18,700. The company doesn’t report container and trailer traffic separately, unlike other Class I railroads (NSC). In the first 13 weeks of 2018, CP’s overall railcar traffic grew 3.9%, more than US and Canadian railroads’ (IYJ) overall, which grew 2.6%.


Between 2017 and 2018, US Class I railroads’ carload volumes haven’t picked up distinctly. This undergrowth is compensated for by intermodal volumes, which have risen strongly in 2018 so far. In a nutshell, whether these railroads will achieve top-line growth is yet to be seen.


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