Reports for the 52-week period ended December 28 showed that Norfolk Southern’s loads were down about 4% for 2013, from 1,348,695 carloads to 1,298,177.
CSX unfortunately had an even stiffer drop, coming in at 1,094,252 coal loads – nearly 8% lower than the 1,187,587 it reported for 2012.
Overall, the latter railroader saw a 28% reduction in coal shipments over a five-year period – in 2008, CSX marked more than 1.77 million carloads of coal.
At the same time, its total traffic actually rose 2% year on year between 2012 and 2013, as much improvement was seen in the company’s petroleum and intermodal traffic.
Interestingly, CSX coke shipments were up more than 20% for 2013.
The same could not be said for NS, which reported a 12% decline in coke but an overall year-on-year rise in traffic of more than 3%.
Both companies will report year-end numbers to the public later this month.