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CSX’s Freight Volume Growth Compared to the Industry in Week 27

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CSX’s carloads in Week 27

Eastern US major rail carrier CSX (CSX) posted a 1.3% YoY (year-over-year) carload volume growth in Week 27. It moved ~60,200 railcars, up from ~59,400. Its railcar traffic is slowly getting back on track this year after a dull 2017. However, its carload traffic loss in percentage terms hasn’t fully recovered. Compared with US railroads’ 5.4% YoY growth, CSX’s gains appear to be very small. Even its rival Norfolk Southern (NSC) managed to post a 9.2% YoY growth in Week 27, which was far more than CSX.

CSX’s carloads other than coal (ARCH) and coke were 78.6% of total carloads in Week 27. Coal and coke carloads were 21.4%. Excluding coal and coke, the rest rose marginally by 1.6% YoY, crossing 47,300. Coal and coke carload volumes rose 0.23% YoY to ~12,900 units.

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Changes in CSX’s commodity groups

The following commodity groups’ carloads expanded in Week 27:

  • grain
  • grain mill products
  • food products
  • primary metal products
  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • stone, clay, and glass products

The following commodity groups’ volumes contracted in Week 27:

  • chemicals
  • primary forest products
  • non-metallic minerals
  • motor vehicles and parts

CSX’s intermodal volumes in Week 27

CSX’s intermodal traffic growth was much lower in percentage terms compared with 12% YoY gains posted by US railroads in Week 27. The railroad’s intermodal volumes grew 6.2% YoY to ~49,800 trailers and containers in Week 27 from ~46,900. Containers dominate CSX’s intermodal volume mix, accounting for 95% of intermodal units. The railroad’s container traffic surged 6.1% to ~48,000 units from ~45,200. Trailer volumes rose 8.5% YoY to ~1,800 units from ~1,650.

CSX’s rail traffic, including intermodal, contracted 0.5% YoY, which was in sharp contrast to the 3.8% YoY rise posted by US railroads (IYT) in the first 27 weeks of 2018.

In the next part of this series, we’ll focus on Kansas City Southern’s (KSU) freight volume trends in Week 27.

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