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Union Pacific Reports a Double-Digit Decline in Carload Traffic


Mar. 25 2019, Published 1:37 p.m. ET

Rail traffic declined

Union Pacific’s (UNP) rail traffic fell 9.4% YoY (year-over-year) to 150,914 railcars in Week 11. The company’s dismal rail traffic performance in the week was mainly the result of an 11.8% fall in its carloads. 

During the week, Union Pacific hauled 84,873 railcars compared to the 96,174 railcars it pulled in Week 11 of the previous year.

Carload traffic for commodities excluding coal and coke fell 7.7% YoY to 68,399 units from 74,103 units in Week 11. The company’s coal and coke volumes declined 25.4% YoY to 16,474 units from 22,071 units.

Union Pacific registered double-digit volume declines across the metallic, farm products, grains, stone, and coke commodity groups. However, nonmetallic minerals, forest products, and petroleum were the few commodity groups that gained.

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Among the Class I railroad companies (XLI) under review, Union Pacific’s carload volume decline was the second highest after BNSF Railway’s 14.2% fall. Kansas City Southern (KSU), CSX (CSX), and Canadian National Railway (CNI) were the only railroad companies that recorded YoY improvements in their carload traffic in the week.

Intermodal traffic improved

Union Pacific’s intermodal traffic fell 6.3% YoY to 66,041 containers and trailers from 70,476 units. The company’s container volumes declined 6.6% YoY to 62,832 units from 67,273 units. However, Union Pacific’s trailer volumes grew marginally to 3,209 units from 3,203 units.

The company recorded the third-largest intermodal traffic decline among Class I railroad companies. On the other hand, CNI and Norfolk Southern (NSC) were the only two companies that recorded YoY gains in their intermodal volumes.


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