Railroad CSX Corp. said Tuesday third-quarter earnings soared 43 percent as its trains ran more efficiently and shipments rose.
Shipments of cars and car parts improved the most in the third-quarter, driven by a boost in car and truck production. Intermodal shipments — transfers from trucks to trains — also accelerated as more companies chose to ship goods by rail. International shipments also increased due to new business, inventory restocking by U.S. customers and early holiday shipping.
Coal shipments improved, as demand grew for export shipments of coal used in making steel. That was offset by lower shipments to utilities still working through the stockpiles they have on hand.
CSX, which like other railroads is a window on the country’s broader economic health, said shipments of lumber, food and retail goods were flat — indicating the construction market and consumer spending still lagged in late summer and early fall.