Rail traffic

Union Pacific’s (UNP) rail traffic fell 6% YoY (year-over-year) in Week 24, which ended on June 15. The company hauled 166,950 railcars during the week—compared to 177,599 wagons in Week 24 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 0.8%.

Union Pacific Rail Traffic Fell the Most in Week 24

Union Pacific registered a volume decline across the intermodal and carload categories. During the week, the company moved 74,544 intermodal units—down 7.1% from 80,219 units carried in Week 24 of 2018. Union Pacific’s container volumes fell 6.6% YoY to 71,857 units from 76,908 units, while its trailer volumes fell 18.8% YoY to 2,687 units from 3,311 units.

During Week 24, six of the seven Class I railroad companies recorded lower intermodal unit volumes. CSX (CSX) saw the highest volume decline of 11.5%. Canadian Pacific Railway was the only company that recorded intermodal volume growth of 5.8%.

Carload traffic

Union Pacific’s carload traffic fell 5.1% YoY to 92,406 railcars in the week from 97,380 wagons in Week 24 of 2018. The company’s carload volumes, excluding coal and coke, fell 2.5% YoY to 73,894 units. Union Pacific’s coal and coke traffic fell 14.4% YoY to 15,512 units from 21,630 units.

Union Pacific registered a double-digit carload traffic decline across the farm, coal, coke, grain mill, stone, lumber, woods, and iron and steel commodity groups. The company recorded volume growth across metallic ores, non-metallic minerals, food, forest, chemicals, and petroleum products.

Four out of seven Class I railroad companies registered carload traffic declines during Week 24. Union Pacific reported the highest fall. Kansas City Southern (KSU) and CSX were the two railroad companies that recorded carload traffic growth of 2.4% and 3.3%, respectively, while Canadian National Railway’s (CNI) carload volume was flat.

Union Pacific stock has returned 22.2% year-to-date. The stock has outperformed the iShares Transportation Average ETF’s (IYT) 12.9% gain. IYT has allocated 52.5% of its funds to the ground freight and logistics industry.

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