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Week 14: North American Rail Freight Traffic Rose sans Mexico

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Part 4
Week 14: North American Rail Freight Traffic Rose sans Mexico PART 4 OF 8

How Norfolk Southern’s Freight Volumes Trended in Week 14

NSC’s carloads in Week 14

Norfolk Southern (NSC) is a major rail freight carrier operating in the Eastern US. The company is slated to release its 1Q18 earnings on April 25, 2018. NSC witnessed a marginal 1.0% rise in its carload traffic in Week 14 of 2018. Its carload volumes grew from 68,800 units in 2017 to 69,400 units in 2018. 

In contrast, NSC competitor CSX registered a minor slump of 0.7% in the same category. Norfolk Southern’s carload traffic growth was much lower than the 4.6% rise reported by US railroads (GWR).

How Norfolk Southern&#8217;s Freight Volumes Trended in Week 14

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NSC’s other than coal and coke carloads (ARCH) comprised 70.3% of total carloads. Its coal and coke carloads comprised 29.7% in Week 14 of 2018. In Week 14 of 2017, these carloads totaled 71.4% and 28.6%, respectively. 

However, coal (ARLP) and coke carloads jumped 4.9% to ~20,600 units in 2018 compared with nearly 19,700 units in 2017.

Changes in Norfolk Southern’s carload commodity groups

The below-mentioned carload commodity shipments rose in Week 14:

  • chemicals
  • crushed stone, sand, and gravel
  • metals and products
  • pulp, paper, and allied products

The following carload commodity shipments slid in Week 14:

  • food and kindred products
  • grain mill products
  • grain
  • motor vehicles and equipment
  • stone, clay, and glass products

How Norfolk Southern&#8217;s Freight Volumes Trended in Week 14

NSC’s intermodal traffic in Week 14

Norfolk Southern’s (NSC) intermodal traffic rose 6.5% in Week 14 of 2018. In contrast, its rival CSX saw its intermodal volumes decline 0.9%. NCS hauled ~80,700 containers and trailers in 2018, compared with 75,400 units in 2017.

CNSC’s container traffic grew 6.5% YoY (year-over-year) to ~72,300 units from ~68,000 units. Trailer volumes grew 11.0% YoY to ~8,300 trailers from 7,500 units last year.

In the first 14 weeks of 2018, Norfolk Southern’s total railcar volumes grew 2.7%, matching US railroads’ (XLI) overall gains. 

In the next article, we’ll examine CSX’s railcar traffic.

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