Canadian Pacific: The Only Rail Traffic Volume Gainer in Week 21

CP’s rail traffic

Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) was the only Class I railroad company that recorded a YoY (year-over-year) improvement in its overall rail traffic in Week 21, which ended on May 25. The company hauled 53,857 railcars, containers, and trailers in the week, up 2.3% from the 52,655 units it carried in Week 21 of 2018.

The remaining six of the seven Class I railroad companies reported YoY declines in their freight rail traffic during the week. BNSF Railway’s rail traffic declined the most at 7%.

Canadian Pacific: The Only Rail Traffic Volume Gainer in Week 21

Higher carload and intermodal volumes mainly drove the YoY increase in CP’s overall rail traffic. The company’s carload traffic grew 2.6% YoY to 34,560 railcars from 33,696 railcars in the same week of the previous year.

CP’s carload traffic excluding coal and coke grew 3.4% YoY to 28,361 railcars from 27,426 railcars. However, the company’s coal and coke traffic fell 1.1% YoY to 6,199 units from 6,270 units in Week 21 of 2018.

During the week, CP registered volume growth across the fertilizer, sulfur, forest, potash, energy, and chemicals commodity groups. The company recorded volume declines across the coal, metals, grain, minerals, and automotive commodity groups.

During the week, only two out of seven Class I railroad companies recorded carload traffic gains. Apart from CP, Canadian National Railway (CNI) was the only other railroad company that recorded carload volume growth. The company’s carload traffic inched up 0.2%. Among the underperformers, Norfolk Southern (NSC) saw the highest volume decline of 7.9%.

Intermodal volumes

CP’s intermodal traffic rose 1.8% YoY in Week 21 to 19,297 containers and trailers from 18,959 units. During the week, apart from CP, Kansas City Southern (KSU) was the only other company among the seven Class I railroad companies that recorded intermodal volume growth. KSU registered an intermodal volume gain of 2.4%. On the other hand, CSX (CSX) registered the highest fall of 13%.

CP stock has returned 22.9% year-to-date and has outperformed the gains of the SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN), which is up 7.1%. The ETF has allocated 42.8% of its funds to the freight and logistics services industry.