Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rail Volume for Week 44 Down - Hurricane Sandy

Association of American Railroads released week 44 on Thursday and as expected volumes were down significantly.  However, anyone who graphs and analyzes this data closely will need to asterisk this week forever as Hurricane Sandy drove most of it.

The data shows a 4.8% decrease in container traffic versus week 44 of 2011.  This can only be explained by the Hurricane and embargo of certain locations.  Container traffic through week 44 increased 5.6% for the year showing the increased volumes will continue and, as expected, trailer traffic on the rails continues its decline in favor of the more efficient COFC.

Overall ton miles are down both for the week and for the year and the driving factor for this is Coal.  Coal is down substantially and while petroleum products are up due to all the shale oil it is not enough, on a ton mile basis, to offset the decrease in coal.

The story continues to unfold despite the blip due to Sandy:

  • COFC is up
  • TOFC is down
  • Overall ton miles are down
  • Coal down
  • Petroleum up dramatically. 

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