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Canadian National’s Rail Traffic Grew on Higher Carload Volumes

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CNI’s rail traffic grew

Canadian National Railway (CNI) registered a 1.3% YoY (year-over-year) improvement in its overall rail traffic in Week 19. The company hauled 117,402 railcars, containers, and trailers in the week compared to 115,928 units in Week 19 of 2018.

Two of the seven Class I railroad companies recorded rail traffic growth during Week 19. CNI registered the highest gain, followed by Canadian Pacific Railway’s (CP) volume growth of 0.1%. CSX (CSX) reported the highest fall of 4.3%.

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The YoY increase in CNI’s Week 19 rail traffic was mainly driven by 2.5% YoY growth in its carload volumes. The company hauled 66,922 railcars in the week, up from 65,296 railcars in Week 19 of 2018. CNI’s carload traffic excluding coal and coke increased 2.3% YoY to 59,799 railcars from 58,472 railcars. Its coal and coke traffic grew 4.4% YoY to 7,123 units from 6,824 units in Week 19.

CNI registered volume gains across the majority of commodity products, including grain, petroleum, chemicals, metals, minerals, and automotive products. It registered volume declines across forest, food, and kindred products.

CNI was also the highest carload volume gainer in the week. Three of the seven Class I railroad companies recorded carload traffic gains, while four registered volume declines. CP and Kansas City Southern (KSU) reported carload traffic gains of 1.8% and 0.2%, respectively.

Intermodal traffic

CNI’s intermodal volumes fell 0.3% YoY to 50,480 units from 50,632 units in Week 19 of 2019. All Class I railroad companies recorded intermodal volume declines during Week 19. BNSF Railway registered the highest fall of 7.1%, and CNI recorded the lowest fall of 0.3%.

Shares of CNI have gained 26.7% year-to-date, outperforming the returns of the iShares Transportation Average ETF (IYT), which is up 14.6%. The ETF invests in transportation companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and has allocated 52.5% of its fund to the ground freight and logistics industry.

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