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Carload Growth Placed CSX’s Rail Traffic Gains Second Last Week

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CSX’s carloads in Week 40

In Week 40, Eastern US major railroad company CSX (CSX) saw 6.6% YoY (year-over-year) carload traffic growth. The company hauled ~73,000 railcars sans intermodal units in the week compared to 68,400 units in the corresponding week of 2017.

In contrast to CSX’s carload traffic trend, rival Norfolk Southern (NSC) posted a 3.5% YoY fall in its Week 40 carloads. Compared to US railroad (XTN) companies’ overall 0.7% carload traffic gains, CSX’s gains in the same category were significantly higher in the week.

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CSX’s carloads of commodity groups sans coal and coke made up 75.8% of its total carloads in Week 40. Coal and coke traffic made up 24.2% of its total carloads. Its traffic of commodity groups excluding coal and coke saw 7.4% YoY growth in Week 40 to ~55,300 units from ~51,500 units. Its coal and coke traffic expanded ~4.8% YoY to 17,700 units from 16,900 units.

Changes in CSX’s carload commodity groups

These carload commodity groups pushed total carload volumes in Week 40:

  • grain mill products
  • food products
  • petroleum and petroleum products
  • primary metal products
  • pulp and paper products
  • stone, clay, and glass products
  • motor vehicles and equipment

These carload commodity groups pulled down shipments in Week 40:

  • grain
  • food products
  • chemicals
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CSX’s intermodal traffic

CSX’s intermodal traffic fell 2.5% in Week 40. The company’s intermodal volumes totaled ~57,000 containers and trailers in the week compared to 58,500 units last year. CSX wasn’t the only railroad company to report lower YoY intermodal volumes in Week 40. BNSF Railway (BRK.B) and Canadian National Railway (CNI) reported 1.5% YoY and 3.8% YoY intermodal traffic losses, respectively, in the week. Rival Norfolk Southern’s intermodal traffic gains of 7.3% were the highest among all Class I railroad companies in Week 40.

CSX’s container traffic contracted 3.1% YoY to ~54,900 units in Week 40 from ~56,600 units in the corresponding period last year. Its trailer volumes grew 14.1% YoY to ~2,100 units from ~1,900 units. In the first 40 weeks of 2018, CSX’s rail traffic volume growth was 1.1% YoY. The company’s gains were significantly lower than US railroad companies’ overall 3.9% YoY gains during the same period.

In the next article, we’ll take a look at Kansas City Southern’s (KSU) rail traffic.

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