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Which Commodities Brought down KSU’s Carloads in Week 20

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Kansas City Southern’s carloads in Week 20

The smallest US Class I railroad, Kansas City Southern (KSU), saw its carload traffic fall 1.4% YoY (year-over-year) in Week 20 (ended May 19). This year, the US-Mexico railroad’s carload volume growth has had a bumpy ride. In Week 20, the railroad’s carload traffic fell YoY to ~24,400 carloads from ~24,800. In contrast, US railroads’ (XTN) carload traffic rose 1.2% YoY.

Carloads excluding coal (ARCH) and coke expanded marginally, by 0.10% to 21,000. These carloads comprised 86% of its total carloads, whereas coal and coke carloads comprised 14%. Last year, they comprised 84.7% and 15.3% of total carloads, respectively. Coal and coke carloads fell 9.9% YoY to ~3,400 units from 3,800.

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Changes in carload commodity groups

The following commodity groups’ volumes rose in Week 20:

  • food and kindred products
  • lumber and wood products (except furniture)
  • petroleum products
  • stone, clay, and glass products
  • motor vehicles and equipment

The following commodity groups’ volumes fell in Week 20:

  • grain
  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • chemicals and allied products
  • metals and products

Intermodal volumes in Week 20

While its carload traffic slowed, Kansas City Southern’s intermodal volumes rose slightly in Week 20. The railroad’s intermodal traffic surged 2.7% YoY to 19,800 containers and trailers from ~19,300. Containers, which dominate KSU’s intermodal traffic mix, rose 2.2% YoY to ~19,400 units from ~19,000, while trailer traffic rose 31.5% YoY.

KSU’s overall railcar traffic, including intermodal, rose 0.4% in Week 20, while US railroads’ (GWR) rose 3.6%. In the next parts, we’ll look at Canadian rail traffic, starting with Canadian National Railway (CNI).

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