Intermodal Volumes Boosted CNI’s Rail Traffic Growth in Week 36



CNI’s carload traffic in week 36

Canadian National Railway (CNI) is the number one fright rail in Canada. In week 36, the railroad’s carload traffic declined 0.9% YoY to ~62,900 railcars from ~63,400 units in the same period last year.

Out of all class I railroads, Canadian National Railway was the only to report a YoY carload volume decline in week 36. Its prime competitor, Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) remained on the top with 10% gains. CP was followed by Union Pacific (UNP) and CSX (CSX) with respective gains of 6.4% and 5.4% in the week. In contrast to the US and Canadian railroads’ carload gains of ~4%, CNI posted a carload loss for the week.

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Canadian National Railway’s railcar volumes excluding coal and coke made up 89.3% of its total carloads in week 36. Coal and coke railcars accounted for 10.7% of total carload traffic. The traffic of commodity groups except coal and coke declined marginally by ~0.5% YoY in week 36 to ~56,200 railcars. Coal and coke railcars slumped 3.9% to ~6,700 units from ~7,000 units.

Changes in CNI’s carload commodity groups

The following carload commodity groups posted increased traffic in week 36:

  • lumber and wood products
  • pulp and paper products
  • grain
  • grain mill products

The following carload commodity groups reported decreased volumes in week 36:

  • primary forest products
  • metals and minerals
  • automotive
  • farm products
  • food and kindred products

CNI’s intermodal volumes

Canadian National Railway’s intermodal volumes rose 3.8% YoY in week 36. The company carried ~47,800 containers for the week compared to ~46,100 units in the same period of 2017. Unlike other rail carriers’ intermodal volumes, CNI’s volumes are represented by containers only.

Canadian National Railway registered 4% YoY total volume growth in the first 36 weeks of 2018, similar to the US and Canadian railroad (FXR) companies’ ~4% gains during the period.

In the last part, we’ll go through Canadian Pacific Railway’s railcar traffic.


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