Analyzing Canadian National’s Rail Traffic in Week 12



Rail traffic

In Week 12, Canadian National Railway’s (CNI) total traffic volume fell 2.2% YoY (year-over-year) to 115,404 railcars from 117,990. Six of the seven Class I railroad (XTN) companies, including CNI, reported a YoY decline in freight rail traffic during that week. Union Pacific’s (UNP) rail traffic fell the most, by 9%. Kansas City Southern (KSU) was the only Class I railroad company whose rail traffic improved, by 0.8%.

In the first 12 weeks of 2019, Canadian National Railway’s rail traffic rose 0.7% YoY to ~1.32 million units from ~1.31 million. Its carload traffic rose 1.3% YoY to 737,059 railcars, while its intermodal traffic was almost flat at 578,469 units.

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Carloads and intermodal traffic

In Week 12, Canadian National Railway’s carload traffic fell 2% YoY to 64,522 units from 65,850. Carload traffic excluding coal and coke fell 1% YoY to 59,116 railcars from 59,725 railcars, and coal and coke traffic fell 11.7% YoY to 5,406 railcars from 6,125.

Canadian National Railway recorded gains in pulp, paper, iron and steel, automotive, coke, grain, and petroleum volumes, but a massive decline in primary forest, nonmetallic mineral, metal, stone, and coal volumes.

Canadian National Railway’s intermodal volumes fell 2.4% YoY in Week 12, to 50,882 containers from 52,140. Three of the seven Class I railroad companies reported a decline in intermodal volumes. CSX (CSX) recorded the largest fall in Week 12, of 5.4%.


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