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



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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