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American ShipperIntermodalShippingTrade and Compliance

BNSF picks up steam in Q1

The Berkshire Hathaway-owned Class I railway increased net revenues 8.8 percent year-over-year during the quarter, reflecting higher volumes and average revenue per car/unit.

Source: Angel DiBilio/Shutterstock
BNSF’s freight revenues from coal for the first quarter of 2017 rose 23.2 percent from last year’s first quarter.

   Berkshire Hathaway-owned BNSF Railway Co.’s net earnings totaled $838 million for the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 6.9 percent from the same period in 2016.
   The Class I railway’s revenues stood at $5.2 billion for the quarter, up 8.8 percent year-over-year, reflecting a 2.7 percent comparative increase in average revenue per car/unit and a 6.4 percent jump in volumes, according to Berkshire Hathaway’s 10Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
   Freight revenues from consumer products reached $1.7 billion for the quarter, up 8.8 percent year-over-year. Consumer product volumes rose 5.6 percent from the first quarter of 2016. Improved economic conditions, the normalizing of retail inventories, and a higher market share led to a boost in domestic intermodal, international intermodal, and automotive volumes.
   For industrial products, freight revenues totaled $1.2 billion for the quarter, up 3.9 percent year-over-year. Industrial product volumes were slightly higher from the first quarter of 2016, with BNSF experiencing volumes increases in minerals and other commodities that support domestic drilling activity, amid declines in petroleum products and plastic volumes.
   Freight revenues from agricultural products stood at $1.1 billion for the quarter, up 5.7 percent year-over-year. Agricultural product volumes grew 1.8 percent from the first quarter of 2016, as higher grain exports were partially offset by lower domestic grain shipments.
   BNSF’s freight revenues from coal reached $960 million for the quarter, surging 23.2 percent year-over-year. Coal volumes rose 18.5 percent from the first quarter of 2016, reflecting a mild winter in the first quarter of 2016 and higher natural gas prices in the first quarter of 2017.
   Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF operates about 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states, as well as in three Canadian provinces.

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