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Intermodal Volume Gains Boost KSU’s Rail Traffic

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Intermodal volumes increase

Kansas City Southern’s (KSU) overall rail traffic improved marginally in Week 12. The smallest Class I railroad company (IYT) hauled 41,057 railcars during the week, slightly more than in Week 12 of 2018, when it carried 40,746 railcars. Except for KSU, all major Class I railroad companies recorded a YoY decline in rail traffic volumes in Week 12. Union Pacific (UNP) recorded the largest fall, of 9%.

Kansas City Southern’s YoY (year-over-year) improvement in rail traffic was mainly driven by a decent increase in intermodal volumes, which more than offset its carload traffic weakness. KSU’s intermodal volumes increased 3% YoY to 18,298 units from 17,772.

The company’s intermodal growth was the second-highest among Class I railroad companies after Canadian Pacific Railway’s (CP) 6.7% increase. During the week, three of the seven Class I railroads registered a decline in intermodal volumes. CSX (CSX) recorded the largest fall, of 5.4%.

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Carload traffic falls

Kansas City Southern’s carload traffic fell 0.9% YoY to 22,759 railcars from 22,974. Its carload traffic for commodities excluding coal and coke rose 0.9% YoY to 20,664 units from 20,472, whereas its coal and coke traffic fell 16.3% YoY to 2,095 railcars from 2,502. Non-metallic mineral, grain mill, food and kindred, lumber, wood, and petroleum volumes gained YoY, while grain, farm product, coal, coke, chemical, metal, metallic ore, and motor vehicle volumes fell.

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