UNP’s Intermodal Traffic Growth Was the Highest among Its Peers



Intermodal traffic increased

Union Pacific’s (UNP) rail traffic volumes increased 5.7% YoY (year-over-year) to 183,346 units in Week 49, mainly driven by strong growth in intermodal units and partially offset by a decline in carload traffic.

In the first 49 weeks of 2018, the company recorded a 3.5% YoY increase in railcar traffic. Its rail traffic gains were higher than US railroad (XTN) companies’ overall 3.1% gain during the same period.

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In Week 49, Union Pacific’s intermodal traffic expanded 15.7% YoY to 88,265 containers and trailers from 76,288 units in the same period last year. Union Pacific carried 83,899 containers in Week 49 compared to 72,199 containers in the same week of the previous year. The company’s trailer volumes expanded 6.8% YoY to 4,366 units compared to 4,089 units in Week 49 of 2017.

The railroad company’s intermodal volume gain was the highest among all Class I railroad companies, followed by Kansas City Southern (KSU), Norfolk Southern (NSC), and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), which registered YoY increases of 9.1%, 6.1%, and 5.2%, respectively. BNSF Railway was the only Class I railroad company that recorded a YoY fall in intermodal traffic in Week 49.

Carload traffic fell in Week 49

Union Pacific reported a 2.1% YoY fall in its carload traffic in Week 49. The company carried 95,081 railcars excluding intermodal units compared to 97,093 railcars in the same period last year. Commodity groups excluding coal and coke posted a 0.1% YoY decrease in traffic to 71,885 railcars from 71,939 railcars. Coal and coke traffic contracted 7.8% YoY in Week 49 to 23,196 units from 25,154 units in the same week last year.

In Week 49, Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific also reported lower carload traffic. Kansas City Southern came in first with a 4.8% carload gain in Week 49 followed by BNSF Railway’s 4.1% carload gain and Canadian National Railway’s 1.3% carload gain.

Next, let’s take a closer look at Norfolk Southern’s rail traffic.


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