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Commodities That Drove KSU’s Volumes Higher in Week 23

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Kansas City Southern’s carloads in Week 23

The smallest Class I US railroad, Kansas City Southern (KSU), saw its carload traffic rise 3.8% YoY (year-over-year) in Week 23. This year, the US-Mexico railroad’s freight volumes have fluctuated. In Week 23, KSU’s carload traffic rose YoY to ~26,500 carloads from ~25,500, more than US railroads’ (XTN), which grew 2.8% YoY. 

Kansas City Southern’s volumes excluding coal (ARCH) and coke comprised 84.5% of its carloads in Week 23 and expanded 7.5% YoY to ~22,400 units from ~20,800. Its coal and coke carloads contracted 12.4% YoY, by ~600 carloads to 4,100 units from 4,700.

Changes in KSU’s carload commodity groups

The following commodity groups’ volumes grew in Week 23:

  • grain
  • grain mill products
  • motor vehicles and equipment
  • pulp, paper, and allied products
  • petroleum products
  • stone, clay, and glass products

The following commodity groups’ volumes shrank in Week 23:

  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • metals and products
  • metallic ores

KSU’s intermodal volumes in Week 23

In contrast with other Class I railroads, Kansas City Southern’s intermodal volumes grew less than its carload volumes in Week 23. Its intermodal traffic expanded 3.1% to 20,000 containers and trailers from ~19,500. Container volumes, which dominate KSU’s intermodal traffic mix, grew 2.2% YoY to 19,650 from ~19,200. Its trailer volumes grew by a whopping 74.2% YoY to 432 units from ~250.

In Week 23, Kansas City Southern’s overall rail volumes including intermodal jumped 3.5%, almost matching US railroads’ (GWR) 3.6% YoY gain. In the next two parts, we’ll look at Canadian rail traffic, starting with Canadian National Railway (CNI).

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