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Canadian Pacific Railway Was Top Gainer in Carload Traffic Growth

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CP’s carload traffic

Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) registered 6% YoY (year-over-year) carload traffic growth in week 39. CP moved ~37,100 railcars excluding intermodal traffic in the week compared to ~35,000 units in the same week last year. The railroad’s YoY rail traffic volume gain of 2.8% was in third place during the week. Union Pacific (UNP) remained in first place with 4.9% gains. CSX (CSX) with a 4% gain ranked second. Kansas City Southern (KSU) ranked fourth in terms of week 39’s total volume gains.

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Canadian Pacific Railway’s traffic for commodity groups other than coal made up 83% of total carloads. Coal carloads made up 17% of total carloads. Traffic of commodity groups excluding coal went up 6% YoY to ~30,800 railcars in week 39 from 29,000 units in the comparable week of 2017. Coal carloads rose 6.2% YoY to 6,300 railcars from ~6,000 units.

Changes in CP’s carload commodity groups

The following commodity groups reported strong growth in week 39 volumes:

  • potash
  • energy, chemicals, and plastics
  • automotive

The following commodity groups reported the decline in week 39’s volumes:

  • grain
  • intermodal

CP’s intermodal traffic

In week 39, Canadian Pacific Railway recorded a 2.6% YoY decline in intermodal traffic. The company moved ~20,400 containers in the week compared to ~21,000 units in the comparable week last year. CP doesn’t report container and trailer traffic separately unlike other class I railroad (XLI) companies. The carrier was the only class I railroad to report lower YoY intermodal traffic in week 39.

Canadian Pacific Railway’s rail traffic volume grew 3.8% YoY equating with Canadian railroads’ gains during the same period. However, the railroad’s gains were marginally below US railroads’ 4% YoY gains in the first 39 weeks.

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