Carload Gains Drive BNSF Railway’s Traffic in Week 23



BNSF Railway’s carloads in Week 23

In Week 23, Western US major rail carrier BNSF Railway’s (BRK.B) carload traffic, excluding intermodal, rose 10.2% YoY (year-over-year) to ~103,600 railcars from ~94,000. The railroad’s weekly gains were the highest among Class I US railroads, far higher than competitor Union Pacific’s (UNP) 0.8% YoY rise, and US railroads’ (IYJ) 2.8% YoY rise.

Carloads other than coal (ARCH) and coke comprised 65% of BNSF’s total volumes in Week 23 and jumped ~13.7% YoY to 67,000 units from 59,000. Coal and coke carloads rose 4.4% YoY to ~36,600 units from ~35,000.

Changes in BNSF’s carload commodity groups

The following commodity groups’ volumes grew in Week 23:

  • grain
  • chemicals
  • motor vehicles
  • food
  • sand and gravel
  • petroleum

The following commodity groups’ volumes shrank in Week 23:

  • metallic ores
  • coke
  • farm (not grain)

BNSF’s intermodal traffic

In Week 23, BNSF Railway’s intermodal traffic grew ~2.4% YoY to ~107,500 containers and trailers from 104,500. However, the railroad’s intermodal traffic gains were much lower than US railroads’ during the week. Its container volumes contracted 0.5% YoY to ~93,800 containers from ~94,300, and its trailer traffic rose 28% YoY to 13,700 units from ~10,700.

BNSF’s total rail traffic grew 5% YoY in the first 23 weeks of this year, whereas US railroads’ (GWR) grew by an average of 3.6%. Next, we’ll look at Union Pacific’s volumes.

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