uploads/2018/12/Chart-4-NSC-1.png

Strong Intermodal Growth Drove NSC’s Rail Traffic in Week 49

By

Updated

Intermodal volumes

Norfolk Southern (NSC) reported 3.3% YoY growth in its rail traffic volumes in Week 49, mainly driven by strong growth in intermodal units and partially offset by a weak performance in its carload segment. 

The company pulled 159,059 railcars compared to 154,027 units in the same week last year.

Norfolk Southern’s intermodal traffic increased 6.1% YoY in Week 49 to 91,846 containers and trailers compared to 86,552 units last year. The company’s container traffic grew 5.8% YoY to 80,954 units from 76,499 units. Norfolk Southern’s trailer volumes increased 8.3% YoY to 10,892 units from 10,053 units in Week 49 of 2017.

The company’s intermodal traffic gain was the third highest among Class I railroad companies (FTXR) in Week 49. Its peers Union Pacific (UNP) and Kansas City Southern (KSU) reported YoY intermodal traffic increases of 15.7% and 9.1%, respectively.

Article continues below advertisement

Carloads declined

Norfolk Southern’s carload traffic inched down 0.4% in Week 49. The company carried 67,213 carloads excluding intermodal units in Week 49 compared to 67,475 in the same week last year. The company’s peers Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific (CP) also registered YoY declines in carload traffic.

The company’s commodity groups excluding coke and coal accounted for 71% of its total carload traffic in the week. Coal and coke traffic accounted for 29% of its total carloads. The traffic of commodity groups excluding coal and coke increased 1.5% YoY to 47,847 units from 47,117 units. Coal and coke volumes declined 4.9% YoY to 19,366 in the week compared to 20,358 in the same week of the previous year.

The commodity groups excluding coal and coke that reported notable volume growth in Week 49 included chemicals, farm products, grain mill products, metals and products, nonmetallic minerals, and petroleum products. The commodity groups that recorded YoY declines in Week 49 volumes included grain, metallic ores, motor vehicles and equipment, pulp, paper, and allied products, and stone, clay, and glass products.

Next, we’ll discuss Canadian National Railway’s rail traffic performance.

Advertisement

More From Market Realist