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Week 14: North American Rail Freight Traffic Rose sans Mexico

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Part 6
Week 14: North American Rail Freight Traffic Rose sans Mexico PART 6 OF 8

Commodities that Pushed KSU’s Railcar Traffic in Week 14

Kansas City Southern’s carload volumes

Kansas City Southern (KSU), which is the smallest Class I railroad in the US, recorded a slight YoY (year-over-year) gain in its carload traffic in Week 14 of 2018. The railroad moved 24,100-plus carloads in that week, compared with ~23,700 units in Week 14 of the previous year, which ended April 8, 2017. Compared with the 4.6% carload traffic gain in US railroads (XTN), KSU’s increase in the same category was much smaller.

Commodities that Pushed KSU&#8217;s Railcar Traffic in Week 14

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KSU’s carloads other than coal and coke comprised 87.3% of total carloads, and its coal and coke carloads comprised 12.7% of total carloads in 2018. In Week 14 of 2017, these metrics totaled 84.4% and 15.6%, respectively. 

KSU’s carloads excluding coal (BTU) and coke rose 5.2% YoY to 21,000-plus units from ~20,000 units. KSU’s coal and coke carloads fell 17.1% YoY to ~3,060 units from ~3,700 units.

Changes in Kansas City Southern’s carload commodity groups

The following carload commodity shipments rose in Week 14:

  • grain
  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • grain mill products
  • lumber and wood products
  • pulp, paper, and allied products

The following carload commodity volumes fell in Week 14:

  • chemicals and allied products
  • food and kindred products

Commodities that Pushed KSU&#8217;s Railcar Traffic in Week 14

Intermodal traffic in Week 14

Kansas City Southern’s (KSU) intermodal volumes grew 3.3% YoY to ~18,100 trailers and containers in Week 14 of 2018, up from 17,500 in Week 14 of 2017. Trailer traffic gained 1.3%, which was lower than containers’ 3.3% growth. 

Containers account for ~98.0% of KSU’s intermodal traffic. Container traffic rose from 17,200 units in Week 14 of 2017 to 17,800 in Week 14 of 2018.

KSU’s overall railcar traffic gained 2.4% in Week 14 of 2018, whereas US railroads’ (GWR) shipments rose 3.8%. However, KSU’s volumes were in line with those reported by Mexican railroads. 

In the next article, we’ll provide an update on Canadian National Railway’s (CNI) railcar traffic.

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