The Greenbrier Companies announced Wednesday that it has received orders totaling is approximately $130 million for new and refurbished railcars.
Included are orders for 1,000 new double-stack intermodal platforms and more than 700 new covered hopper cars. Greenbrier will also re-engineer and modify approximately 1,100 existing double-stack platforms to 53 feet from smaller dimensions.
The new orders and refurbishment work will be carried out at the company’s Gunderson and Greenbrier Rail Services facilities in 2010 and 2011. “The orders are from five separate customers, and are subject to final documentation, but are considered to be firm commitments,” said Greenbrier. “The customers represent major railroad and leasing companies in North America.”
Greenbrier announced that it will increase its workforce by 260 workers at its Gunderson facility in Portland, Ore., bringing total employment to more than 900. These additions will be carried out both by calling back workers furloughed during the industry downturn and by new hires. The company said it will divert approximately 175 workers from its ocean-going marine barge construction at Gunderson to new railcar production as a result of current softness in the marine market.
Greenbrier said the new and refurbished railcars will support a growing need for 53-foot double-stack well capacity in North America, despite a continued surplus of 40-foot and 48-foot equipment. “Double-stack freight cars transport various sizes of containers stacked two high,” noted the builder. “The majority of such railcars are constructed to haul 40-foot international ocean-going containers. The recent strong growth in 53-foot domestic containerization allows railroad shippers to compete effectively with longer and heavier trucks on the nation’s highways. Greenbrier is adjusting its production to fulfill this growing demand.”