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Week 14: North American Rail Freight Traffic Rose sans Mexico

PART:
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Part 7
Week 14: North American Rail Freight Traffic Rose sans Mexico PART 7 OF 8

Canadian National Railway’s Railcar Growth in Week 14

CNI’s carload traffic in Week 14

Canada’s largest railroad, Canadian National Railway (CNI), witnessed a high single-digit rise in its carload traffic in the week ended April 7, 2018, or Week 14. The railroad’s railcar traffic (excluding intermodal) grew 8.9% YoY (year-over-year) in Week 14 of 2018, to ~66,300 railcars from ~60,800 in Week 14 of 2017. Compared with rival Canadian Pacific Railway’s (CP) 2.1% carload traffic gains, CNI’s growth in the same category was far greater.

Canadian National Railway&#8217;s Railcar Growth in Week 14

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Canadian National Railway’s volumes rose across several categories, including other than coal and coke as well as coal and coke carloads. Carloads excluding coal (ARLP) and coke rose 7.1% YoY to 58,600 units in 2018 compared with ~54,700 in 2017. 

These carloads accounted for 88.5% of total carloads, and coal and coke carloads accounted for 11.5% of total carloads in Week 14 of 2018. These metrics were 90.0% and 10.0%, respectively, in Week 14 of 2017. Coal and coke carloads displayed solid 25.4% YoY growth in volumes to 7,600 units from ~6,100 in Week 14 of 2017.

Changes in Canadian National Railway’s carload commodity groups

The following carload commodity volumes grew in Week 14:

  • metals and minerals
  • non-metallic minerals
  • grain mill products

The following carload commodity volumes slid in Week 14:

  • forest products
  • petroleum and chemicals
  • automotive
  • grain
  • food and kindred products

Canadian National Railway&#8217;s Railcar Growth in Week 14

Intermodal volumes

Over the past several weeks, Canadian National Railway’s intermodal traffic growth has slowed. The railroad’s intermodal volumes rose 8.8% YoY from 44,800 trailers and containers to ~48,700 trailers and containers in Week 14 of 2018. Unlike other railroads (GWR), CNI’s intermodal volumes are represented by containers only.

In the first 14 weeks of 2018, Canadian National Railway’s railcar traffic including intermodal units expanded 3.3%. During the same timeframe, US and Canadian railroads (IYJ) registered 2.7% and 3.0% growth, respectively, in their traffic. 

In the final section of this series, we’ll look at Canadian Pacific Railway’s railcar traffic.

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