Union Pacific’s (UNP) rail traffic fell 9% YoY (year-over-year) in Week 22, which ended on June 1. The company hauled 148,021 railcars during the week compared to 162,576 railcars in Week 22 of 2018. Six out of seven Class I railroad companies registered volume declines during the week. Union Pacific registered the biggest fall, while Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) was the only gainer with volume growth of 25.1%.
Union Pacific’s dismal rail traffic performance was mainly the result of a volume decline across the intermodal and carload units. During the week, the company moved 66,860 intermodal units compared to 71,802 units in Week 22 of 2018. The railroad company’s container volumes fell 6.4% YoY to 64,569 units from 68.980 units, while its trailer volumes fell 18.8% YoY to 2,291 units from 2,822 units.
During Week 22, except for Canadian Pacific Railway, all of the Class I railroad companies recorded lower intermodal unit volumes. CSX (CSX) saw the highest volume decline of 12.8%. At 32.2%, Canadian Pacific Railway was the only company that recorded intermodal volume growth.
Carload traffic fell
Union Pacific’s carload traffic fell 10.6% YoY to 81,161 railcars in the week from 90,774 wagons in Week 22 of 2018. Its carload volumes excluding coal and coke fell 3.9% YoY to 68,004 units, and its coal and coke traffic plunged 34.3% YoY to 13,157 units from 20,035 units.
Union Pacific registered a double-digit carload traffic decline across the coal, metallic ores, farm, grain, lumber, wood, paper, pulp, stone, and metals commodity groups. The company recorded volume growth across non-metallic minerals, petroleum, chemicals, and forest products.
Six out of seven Class I railroad companies registered carload traffic declines during Week 22. Union Pacific reported the highest fall followed by Norfolk Southern (NSC), which recorded a volume decline of 4.9%. Canadian Pacific Railway was the only railroad company that recorded carload traffic growth of 21.5%.
Union Pacific stock has returned 24.4% YTD (year-to-date). The stock has outperformed the 10.9% gain of the iShares Transportation Average ETF (IYT). IYT has allocated 52.5% of its funds to the ground freight and logistics industry.