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Intermodal Weakness Hurt CSX’s Rail Traffic Volume in Week 23

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CSX’s rail traffic fell

CSX’s (CSX) overall rail traffic fell 4% YoY (year-over-year) to 121,665 railcars in Week 23 from 126,785 cars in Week 23 of the previous year. Five out of seven Class I railroad companies recorded lower volumes. Norfolk Southern (NSC) recorded the highest fall of 9.7%, while Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and Canadian National Railway (CNI) were the only two gainers with volume growth of 2.2% and 1.2%, respectively.

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A drastic fall in intermodal units mainly hurt CSX’s overall rail traffic performance in Week 23. The company’s intermodal traffic fell 10.1% YoY to 51,607 containers and trailers from 57,377 units in Week 23 of 2018. CSX’s container volumes fell 10% YoY to 49,687 units from 55,224 units. The company’s trailer traffic fell 10.8% YoY to 1,920 units from 2,153 units.

Six of the seven Class I railroad companies recorded lower intermodal volumes during Week 23. CSX registered the highest fall, while Canadian Pacific was the only gainer with volume growth of 7%.

Carload traffic improved

CSX’s carload traffic grew 0.9% YoY to 70,058 railcars, excluding intermodal units, from 69,408 railcars in Week 23 of 2018. CSX’s carload traffic, excluding coal and coke, rose 0.1% YoY to 53,325 railcars from 53,254 railcars in Week 23 of 2018. The company’s coal and coke traffic grew 3.6% YoY to 16,733 units from 16,154 units.

CSX recorded lower carload traffic across the farm, grain, chemicals, metals, coal, motor vehicles and parts, iron and steel scrap, and metallic ores commodity groups. Commodities, including petroleum, forest, coal, and coke registered YoY traffic growth.

Five of the seven Class I railroad companies recorded lower carload traffic during Week 23. BNSF Railway’s carload traffic fell the most by 10.9%. Apart from CSX, Canadian National Railway recorded carload volume growth of 3.5%.

CSX stock has returned 24.2% year-to-date. CSX has outpaced the First Trust Nasdaq Transportation ETF (FTXR). FTXR has risen 8.3%. FTXR has allocated 42.8% of its funds in the ground freight and logistics services industry.

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