CSX Transportation and Kansas City Southern Railway led the North American major rail industry in intermodal growth during the third quarter on a year-over-year basis, according to an investment research firm.
CSX intermodal volume rose 8.6 percent, while KCS saw traffic jump 17.7 percent year-over-year, according to an Oct. 5 Stifel Nicolaus research note. Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway intermodal volume rose 7.3 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively.
Norfolk Southern Railway intermodal volume increased 4.5 percent, while BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad saw traffic inch up 3.5 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.
The intermodal growth across all the top Class I railroads in North America helped the carriers weather steep declines in coal and grain shipments in the third quarter. Total intermodal traffic rose 5.4 percent year-over-year in the third quarter, and carload traffic excluding coal and grain shipments increased 3.4 percent in the same period. Coal volume plummeted 7.9 percent, and grain shipment slipped 0.4 percent.