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CSX: Weak Intermodal Volumes Hurt Rail Traffic in Week 24

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Rail traffic fell

CSX’s (CSX) overall rail traffic fell 3.4% YoY (year-over-year) to 122,775 railcars in Week 24 from 127,090 cars in Week 24 of 2018. Six out of seven Class I railroad companies recorded lower volumes. Union Pacific (UNP) recorded the highest fall of 6%, while Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) was the only gainer with volume growth of 0.8%.

A drastic fall in intermodal units mainly hurt CSX’s overall rail traffic performance in Week 24. The company’s intermodal traffic fell 11.5% YoY to 50,845 containers and trailers from 57,481 units in Week 24 of 2018. CSX’s container volumes fell 11.1% YoY to 49,072 units from 55,211 units. The company’s trailer traffic fell 21.9% YoY to 1,773 units from 2,270 units.

Six of the seven Class I railroad companies recorded lower intermodal volumes during Week 24. CSX registered the highest fall, while Canadian Pacific Railway was the only gainer with volume growth of 5.8%.

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Carload traffic improved

CSX’s carload traffic grew 3.3% YoY to 71,930 railcars, excluding intermodal units, from 69,609 railcars in Week 24 of 2018. CSX’s carload traffic, excluding coal and coke, rose 3.6% YoY to 54,313 railcars from 52,435 railcars in Week 24 of 2018. The company’s coal and coke traffic grew 2.6% YoY to 17,617 units from 17,174 units.

CSX recorded higher carload traffic across the grain, food, lumber, wood, stone, motor vehicles and parts, metallic ores, coal, and coke commodity groups. Commodities, including petroleum, forest, coal, and coke, registered YoY traffic growth.

Four of the seven Class I railroad companies recorded lower carload traffic during Week 24. Union Pacific’s carload traffic fell the most by 5.1%. Apart from CSX, Kansas City Southern (KSU) recorded a carload volume growth of 2.4%. Canadian National Railway’s (CNI) volume was flat during the week.

CSX stock has returned 26.6% year-to-date. CSX has outpaced the First Trust Nasdaq Transportation ETF (FTXR). FTXR has risen 9.8%. FTXR has allocated 42.8% of its funds in the ground freight and logistics services industry.

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