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Why Genesee & Wyoming’s European Shipments Slid in June

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GWR’s European traffic in June

In June, Genesee & Wyoming’s (GWR) UK and European rail traffic volumes slumped 14.6% YoY (year-over-year). The railroad company moved more than 79,300 railcars in the UK and European region in June 2018 compared to ~93,000 in June 2017. The falling trend was observed in the second quarter, during which the region’s volumes fell 4.1% YoY to over 256,000 railcars from ~267,000 in the second quarter of 2017.

Genesee & Wyoming is the provider of the largest rail maritime intermodal services in the United Kingdom. The company is also the second-largest freight rail service provider, including regional services, in continental Europe.

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Commodity-wise volume changes

GWR’s carloads sans coal and coke accounted for 98.5% of total UK and European railcars in June, down from 99.4% in June 2017, indicating a negligible share of coal and coke carloads. Railcars excluding coal and coke fell 15.4% YoY in June. The railroad company hauled over 78,100 railcars sans coal and coke in the reported month compared to over 92,300 in June 2017.

Coal and coke carloads, however, jumped a whopping 104.2% YoY mainly due to increased shipments in Poland and the United Kingdom. In the company’s UK and European operations, excluding traffic from the ERS (embedded rail system), same-railroad traffic in June was a bit more than 79,300 carloads, implying a 5.3% YoY fall.

Carload commodity groups that posted higher carloads in June were agricultural products and minerals and stone. Higher shipments in GWR’s UK region drove minerals and stone volumes higher. Intermodal volumes fell primarily due to lower UK shipments.

ETF investment

Investors optimistic about transportation and logistics stocks may want to consider investing in the First Trust Industrials/Producer Durables AlphaDEX ETF (FXR). This ETF holds 13.2% in major US airline (LUV) companies, 7.3% in US trucking (JBHT) companies, and 8.2% in key US railroad (UNP) companies.

In the final article, we’ll assess GWR’s Australian region’s rail traffic in June.

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