CSX Transportation saw its profit rise 12 percent to $464 million in the third quarter, as revenue increased 11 percent from a year earlier to nearly $3 billion while freight volume edged up just 1 percent.
That brought its net income to almost 15.7 percent of sales, up slightly from a profit of 15.5 percent in the 2010 third quarter. Although the sluggish economy during this past quarter held down volume growth, the carrier’s average revenue per unit rose 10 percent partly on pricing and partly from fuel surcharges.
CSX said its intermodal volume was about flat from the July-September period last year, with 576,000 units hauled in the 2011 quarter compared with 574,000. But it boosted average intermodal shipment receipts 15 percent to $641, second only to a 16 percent jump in average revenue per coal car to $2,479.
By the Numbers: U.S. Intermodal Rail Traffic
Its coal traffic shrank 1 percent and overall farm products by 9 percent, but it enjoyed a 15 percent jump in metals carloads and a 9 percent gain from forest products.
CSX said its employee headcount averaged 31,664 workers for the three months through September, up 4.3 percent from the 2010 quarter.
Locomotive diesel fuel pricing jumped 44 percent or 96 cents a gallon. Along with 3.7 percent higher consumption that pushed CSX’s locomotive fuel cost up 49 percent to $379 million.
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