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CSX’s Rail Traffic Fell Due to Weak Intermodal Performance

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Intermodal units

CSX’s (CSX) total rail traffic fell 4.7% YoY (year-over-year) to 118,788 railcars in week 10 from 124,618 railcars in the same week last year. During week 10, all of the Class I railroad companies reported a decline in the overall rail traffic except Kansas City Southern (KSU), which rose 2.9%. The decrease in CSX’s total rail traffic was the third-highest fall. Union Pacific (UNP) fell 8.2%, while Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) fell 7.7%.

CSX’s weak rail traffic performance was mainly the result of a drastic fall in its intermodal volumes. The company’s intermodal unit volumes fell 7.8% YoY to 51,050 containers and trailers from 55,377 units. CSX’s container volumes fell 7.5% YoY to 49,087 units from 53,080 units. However, the company’s trailer traffic fell 14.5% YoY to 1,963 units from 2,297 units.

The decline in CSX’s intermodal unit was the largest among all of the Class I railroad companies (IYT) in week 10. During the week, except Norfolk Southern (NSC), all of the Class I railroad companies recorded a decline in their intermodal traffic. Norfolk Southern’s intermodal traffic rose 1.7%.

Carload traffic

CSX’s carload traffic fell 2.2% YoY to 67,738 railcars (excluding intermodal units) from 69,241 railcars in week 10. During the week, except Kansas City Southern, all of the Class I railroad companies recorded lower carloads. Kansas City Southern’s carload traffic rose 8.6%. Union Pacific recorded the biggest fall of 10.8%.

CSX’s carload traffic, excluding coal and coke, which accounted for 76% of its total carload traffic in week 10, fell 2.3% YoY to 51,225 railcars from 52,456 railcars. The company’s coal and coke traffic fell 1.6% YoY to 16,513 units—compared to 16,785 units in week 10 of 2018.

CSX registered a double-digit volume decline in farm, metal, lumber, wood, metallic ores, and coke products in week 10. In week 10, grain, forest, pulp, paper, iron, steel, and coal products registered higher volumes YoY.

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

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