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What Drove Canadian Pacific’s Rail Traffic Higher in Week 15?

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Rail traffic

Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) recorded a 0.7% YoY (year-over-year) improvement in its overall rail traffic in Week 15. The company hauled 55,338 railcars, containers, and trailers in the week compared to 54,944 units in Week 15 of 2018.

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Among the seven Class I railroad companies (IYT), three recorded volume growth, while four registered declines in the week. With a YoY increase of 5.7%, Canadian National Railway (CNI) was the top volume gainer, while BNSF Railway was the worst performer with a fall of 3.3% in its overall rail traffic.

Higher intermodal volumes mainly drove the YoY increase in CP’s overall rail traffic. The company’s intermodal volumes grew 3% YoY to 21,094 containers and trailers in the week from 20,484 units. During the week, only CNI and CP recorded YoY improvements in their intermodal unit volumes. Kansas City Southern (KSU) was the worst performer with a volume decline of 7.2%.

Carload traffic

The second-largest Canadian railroad company’s carload traffic fell 0.6% YoY in Week 15 to 34,244 railcars from 34,460 railcars. During the week, every Class I railroad company recorded carload traffic gains except Norfolk Southern (NSC) and CP, which registered volume declines of 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively. CSX (CSX) reported the highest carload volume gain of 4.7%.

CP’s carload traffic excluding coal and coke grew 2.4% YoY to 28,478 railcars from 27,812 railcars. However, the company’s coal and coke traffic fell 13.3% YoY to 5,766 units from 6,648 units in Week 15 of 2018.

CP registered volume declines across coal, energy, chemicals, plastics, metals, minerals, consumer, fertilizer, and sulfur products. Commodity groups such as grain, potash, forest, and automotive products recorded volume gains.

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