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Kansas City Southern’s Rail Traffic Weakness Persists

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Rail traffic declined

Kansas City Southern’s (KSU) rail traffic performance has stayed weak. In Week 3, the company’s total rail traffic fell 0.5% YoY (year-over-year) to 43,167 railcars from 43,382, marking its second consecutive week of decline.

KSU and BNSF Railway were the only Class I railroads (XLI) whose traffic fell YoY in Week 3. Canadian National Railway’s (CNI) rail traffic gained the most, by 12.6%, followed by Norfolk Southern’s (NSC) and CSX’s (CSX), which gained 10.5% and 10%, respectively.

KSU’s dismal rail traffic performance was mainly the result of its intermodal volumes falling drastically, by 10.3% YoY to 17,942 containers and trailers from 19,993. Its container volumes fell 9.2% YoY to 17,743 units from 19,547, and its trailer traffic plunged 55.4% YoY to 199 units from 446.

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Carload traffic

In Week 3, KSU’s carload traffic grew 7.8% YoY to 25,225 units from 23,389. Commodities excluding coal and coke, which accounted for 84% of KSU’s total carload traffic in Week 3, rose 7.2% YoY to 21,181 units from 19,762, and coal and coke traffic grew 11.5% YoY to 4,044 railcars from 3,627.

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