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Union Pacific’s Volume Growth Compared to the Industry in Week 28

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UNP’s carload growth in Week 28

In Week 28 (ended July 14), Western US rail giant Union Pacific (UNP) reported a 1.4% YoY (year-over-year) rise in carload traffic. It hauled ~96,800 carloads that week compared to ~95,500 in the same week last year. Its carload volume gains in Week 28 lagged behind the 3.8% growth reported by US railroads. The company’s prime competitor BNSF Railway (BRK.B) recorded a solid 11.8% gain in that category in Week 28.

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UNP’s traffic sans coal (UNG) and coke and traffic for coal and coke were 75.8% and 24.2%, respectively, of total carloads in Week 28. Its railcars excluding coal and coke grew 3.9% YoY to 73,500 units in Week 28 compared to ~70,700. Coal and coke carloads, however, declined 5.6% YoY to ~23,400 units from ~24,800 units.

Changes in UNP’s carload commodity groups

The following commodity groups registered increased shipments in Week 28:

  • chemicals
  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • food and kindred products
  • lumber and wood products
  • chemicals
  • motor vehicle and equipment

The following commodity groups recorded reduced volumes in Week 28:

  • grain
  • grain mill products
  • waste and non-ferrous scrap

UNP’s intermodal volumes in Week 28

Union Pacific‘s intermodal volumes grew 5.5% YoY in Week 28, which was lower than the 6.1% gains posted by US railroads. However, its intermodal gains were higher than BNSF Railway’s 3% rise. UNP hauled ~80,400 containers and trailers in Week 28 compared to ~76,200 in the same week last year.

Container traffic, which was ~95% of UNP’s intermodal units, rose 5.1% YoY in Week 28. The company moved ~77,100 containers compared to ~73,300. Trailer volumes were ~3,300 units from ~2,900 the previous year. In the first 28 weeks of 2018, Union Pacific’s total railcar volumes expanded 3% YoY, which was marginally lower than US railroads’ (GWR) 3.9% gains overall.

In the next part, we’ll look at Norfolk Southern’s (NSC) railcar traffic volumes in Week 28.

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