Analysis: US Railroad System Is Great for Freight

In most of the world’s affluent countries, railroads either were built by the government or eventually claimed by it. Beset by growing losses due to high labor costs, bureaucratic inefficiency and the rise of automobiles and airplanes, those governments began reforming their rail systems in 1980s and 1990s with a mix of privatization, competition and […]

AAR: U.S. Rail Traffic Sees Huge Gain

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended Nov. 23, 2019, and for the first time in a long time traffic saw a healthy uptick. For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 521,927 carloads and intermodal units, up 10.6% compared with the same week last year.

Box pendulum swings even more toward East Coast

The momentum within the container sector toward U.S. East Coast ports at the expense of West Coast ports continues to build, according to multiple data sets available on the FreightWaves SONAR platform. In general, the more popular the East Coast becomes among container lines, the better for trucking demand and the worse for intermodal rail […]

USDOT awards grant for Jaxport terminal improvements

Florida’s Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport) yesterday announced it has been awarded a $20 million federal grant to reconstruct more than 100 acres of existing terminal pavement at the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at the port’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.

Intermodal rail outperforms trucking in October

Intermodal container shipping spot rates averaged $0.07/mile higher in October versus September, while national longhaul van rates fell $0.03/mile on average — important to note the intermodal rate includes fuel, while the trucking rate does not. Intermodal is the term used in transportation for shipping containers that can move via rail or on the chassis […]

Railroad groups seek changes to hours of service mandate

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the American Short Line Regional Rail Association (ASLRRA) are seeking modifications to the existing hours of service (HOS) regulations which they say will help the railroads improve their response to unplanned rail events such as derailments. The two groups said the existing mandate limits the railroads to respond […]

FTR reports a rebound in trailer orders in September

FTR reports preliminary trailer orders for September at 19,000 units, the highest since February. Trailer order activity rebounded from the recent doldrums as some fleets began placing orders for 2020. Orders were up 81% m/m but minus 66% y/y. September’s net orders could have been even higher but were negatively affected by fleet cancellations of […]

Georgia Central upgrades track to handle heavier rail cars

The Georgia Central Railway has upgraded its entire 211-mile line between Macon and Savannah to handle 286,000-pound rail cars, the short line announced today. The upgrade was necessary to match the capacity of connecting national railroads and increase the short line’s competitiveness, Georgia Central officials said in a press release.

Shippers to benefit from Savannah if roads can keep up

Expansion plans at the Port of Savannah, which include opportunities for dual rail service between Savannah and Chicago, will benefit shippers so long as the transportation infrastructure leading up to the port can handle the additional potential volumes, analysts say.