Canadian National’s Rail Traffic Plunged 11.8% in Week 5

CNI’s rail traffic

Canadian National Railway (CNI) reported an 11.8% YoY (year-over-year) total traffic volume decline in Week 5. It carried 101,030 railcars compared to 114,592 railcars in Week 5 of 2018.

The company’s rail traffic decline was the third highest among Class I railroad companies after CSX (CSX) and Norfolk Southern (NSC), which both reported 11.9% falls in their volumes.

Canadian National’s Rail Traffic Plunged 11.8% in Week 5

During the fifth week, all the seven Class I railroad companies registered YoY falls in rail traffic. Canadian National Railway’s rival Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) reported the smallest drop of 2% among all major Class I railroad companies.

Carloads and intermodal traffic

Canada’s largest rail freight company’s carload traffic decreased 10.2% YoY to 56,611 units. During the week, all Class I railroad companies reported YoY declines in their carload traffic except Canadian Pacific, which registered YoY growth of 2%. Norfolk Southern reported the highest fall of 14% in carload volumes.

The company registered volume declines across every commodity group except petroleum, farm products, and grains. Volumes of commodity groups excluding coal and coke shrank 10% YoY to 50,466 railcars from 56,086 railcars in Week 5 of 2018. Moreover, its coal and coke traffic contracted 11.8% YoY to 6,145 railcars from 6,964 railcars.

Canadian National Railway’s intermodal volumes declined 13.8% YoY in the fifth week. The company moved 44,419 containers in the week compared to 51,542 containers in Week 5 of 2018.

In the first five weeks of 2019, Canadian National’s rail traffic increased 3.4% YoY to 549,226 units compared to 531,341 units in the same period last year. Its traffic growth was higher than US railroad companies’ (XLI) overall 1.1% gain but lower than Canadian rail carriers’ overall 5% gain during the same period. During the period, the company’s carload traffic increased 4.3% to 149,491 railcars, and its intermodal volumes grew 2.2% to 238,934 units.

Next, we’ll discuss Kansas City Southern’s rail traffic.