Revenues at the Union Pacific Railroad topped $3 billion for the first time in the railroad’s history. Carloads and revenue per car were also at record levels.
Second-quarter income reached $158 million for Union Pacific Corp., parent of the Union Pacific Railroad. This was down from 2003 when income from continuing operations was $275 million. The company reported that quarterly operating revenues topped $3 billion fir the first time in the history of the railroad. “This is the fourth consecutive quarter of record volumes,” said Dick Davidson, chairman and CEO. “Despite these records, revenues could have been even stronger given this unprecedented level of demand,” he continued. “Although our service metrics have stabilized, we have not yet seen the operating improvement necessary to reduce costs or driver stronger revenue growth.”
Davidson also cited high fuel prices for keeping more of the revenue from reaching the bottom line. Chemicals led increases among the commodities, up 9% for the quarter. Industrial products also rose 8%, and agricultural products were up 7%. Intermodal was up 6% and even the troubled automotive sector produced a 2% increase in volumes. Only energy transportation revenues were down, off by 1%.
Year-to-date performance for just the rail operations indicated energy was the railroad’s leading revenue producer at $1.18 billion. This was followed by industrial products ($1.17 billion) and intermodal ($1.05 billion). Automotive was the lowest revenue producer and remained flat for the half despite a 2% rise in the second quarter (vs. same period 2003).