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Inside the Slow Rise in CSX’s Railcar Traffic in Week 16

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CSX’s carload traffic in Week 16

Eastern US railroad CSX’s (CSX) carload traffic rose slightly in Week 16, by 1.6% YoY (year-over-year). In many weeks of 2018, the Florida-based rail giant has reported YoY railcar traffic decline. However, in recent weeks, the company’s shipments seem to have gotten back on track. In the week ended April 21, CSX’s carload traffic expanded YoY to ~70,500 units from ~69,400. CSX’s carload traffic gain was much lower than rival Norfolk Southern’s (NSC) 4.6% and US railroads’ 3.5%.

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In Week 16, CSX’s carloads other than coal (BTU) and coke contracted 1% YoY to ~54,000 units from ~54,500. These carloads comprised 76.5% of CSX’s total carloads, whereas coal-and-coke carloads comprised 23.5%. These proportions were 78.6% and 21.4%, respectively, a year prior. Coal-and-coke carloads grew by double digits, by 11.4% YoY, to ~16.500 units from ~14,900.

Changes in CSX’s carload commodity groups

The following commodity volumes rose in Week 16:

  • grain
  • food products
  • primary metal products
  • pulp and paper products
  • motor vehicles and parts

The following commodity volumes fell in Week 16:

  • grain mill products
  • food products
  • petroleum and petroleum products
  • non-metallic minerals
  • waste and non-ferrous scrap

Intermodal volumes in Week 16

In Week 16, CSX’s intermodal volumes grew 5.4% YoY to ~56,100 trailers and containers from ~53,300. Its container traffic expanded 5.3% YoY to ~54,100 units from ~51,400, and its trailer volumes rose 8.8% YoY to ~2,000 trailers from ~1,850.

In the first 16 weeks of 2018, CSX’s railcar traffic fell 2.3% YoY, whereas US railroads’ (IYT) rose 3% YoY. Next, we’ll look at Kansas City Southern’s (KSU) shipment trends in Week 16.

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