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BNSF Railway: Number One in Week 41 Rail Traffic Volume Gains

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BNSF Railway: Carloads in Week 41

In Week 41, Berkshire Hathaway–owned BNSF Railway (BRK.B) reported a 3.8% YoY (year-over-year) growth in carload traffic. The Western US rail giant hauled ~102,000 railcars except for intermodal units compared to ~98,300 units in Week 41 of 2017.

BNSF Railway’s 3% YoY total rail traffic volume growth in Week 41 was the highest among all Class I railroads. It was followed by Canadian National Railway (CNI), which posted a 2% YoY volume gain.

Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) with 1.9% freight volume gains remained in third place. Union Pacific (UNP), with a YoY gain of 1.84%, was in fourth place. None of the Class I railroads (IYT) reported lower YoY rail traffic volumes in Week 41.

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Carload commodity groups excluding coal and coke made up 62% of the total carload traffic in Week 41. Coal and coke carloads made up 38% of total carloads. Commodity groups, excluding coal and coke, posted 5.6% YoY volume growth to ~62,900 railcars, from ~59,600 units in Week 41 of 2017. Coal and coke traffic expanded marginally 0.92% YoY in the week to ~39,100 railcars, from ~38,700 units.

Changes in carload commodity groups

The following carload commodity groups registered significant volume gains in Week 41:

  • chemicals
  • motor vehicles
  • petroleum products
  • grain mill products
  • metals
  • stone, clay, and glass products

The following carload commodity groups reported reduced volumes in Week 41:

  • food
  • sand and gravel
  • farm (no grain)

BNSF’s intermodal traffic

BNSF Railway’s intermodal traffic rose 2.31% YoY in Week 41. It moved ~106,600 containers and trailers, from ~104,200 units in Week 41 of 2017. Its archrival Union Pacific, on the other hand, posted a 6.5% YoY gain in Week 41 intermodal traffic.

BSNF’s container traffic grew ~2.3% YoY to ~94,000 units in Week 41, from ~91,900 units in the corresponding week of 2017. Its trailer volume rose 2.7% YoY in the week to ~12,700 units compared to ~12,400 units in the same week of 2017.

BNSF Railway’s total rail traffic volume expanded 4.4% YoY compared to US railroad companies’ 3.9% gains during the same period.

Next, we’ll take a look at Union Pacific’s rail traffic trend.

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