uploads///Chart  CSX

Strong Carload Growth Drove CSX’s Rail Traffic Volumes Higher


Feb. 15 2019, Updated 2:50 p.m. ET

Strong carload traffic growth

CSX’s (CSX) total rail traffic volumes rose 3.2% YoY (year-over-year) to 122,403 units in Week 6. The sixth week marked a significant improvement in rail volumes for the company after it reported falls for two consecutive weeks.

Along with Norfolk Southern (NSC), CSX was the top volume gainer among all Class I railroad companies in Week 6.

CSX’s Week 6 rail traffic was mainly boosted by its carload traffic, which grew 6.4% YoY to 69,911 railcars (excluding intermodal units) from 65,718 railcars. The company’s carload traffic growth was the second highest among Class I railroad companies (XLI). Kansas City Southern (KSU) reported the highest gain of 11.4% in carload traffic, while Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) was the worst performer with a 12.4% decline.

CSX’s carload traffic excluding coal and coke, which accounted for 77% of its total carload traffic in Week 6, grew 8.8% YoY to 53,728 railcars from 49,373 railcars. Its coal and coke traffic declined 1% YoY to 16,183 units from 16,345 units in Week 6 of 2018.

The company reported a volume increase across the majority of its commodity groups. CSX registered double-digit volume gains in petroleum, forest, lumber, crushed stone, and metallic ore products. Food, chemicals, coke, and iron and steel scrap registered YoY volume declines.

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Weakness persists in intermodal volumes

Weakness in the company’s intermodal traffic continued for the third straight week. In Week 6, CSX’s intermodal volumes inched down 0.8% to 52,492 units from 52,940 units. Its container volumes declined 0.9% YoY to 50,384 units from 50,866 units, while its trailer traffic grew 1.6% YoY to 2,108 units from 2,074 units.

In the first six weeks of 2019, CSX reported cumulative volumes of 398,095 carloads, up 6.3% from the same period last year. However, its intermodal units fell 4.2% YoY to 294,379 containers and trailers. Its combined rail traffic in the first six weeks of 2019 inched up 1.5% YoY to 692,474 carloads and intermodal units compared to the previous year.

In the next article, we’ll take a look at Union Pacific’s rail traffic performance.


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