FRA’s Office of Research Development & Technology (RD&T) is sponsoring a research project titled “Assessing the Safety Benefits of a Real‐Time Railroad Crossing Blockage Information System for Emergency Responders.” As part of the project, the agency has contracted Winnipeg, Manitoba-based TRAINFO to develop a model to identify the risk of first responders being exposed to active rail crossings and to quantify benefits of live rail crossing data in the overall emergency response process.
Over the next few days and then amplified by mid-month investor reporting, we will learn more about how U.S. rail freight is trending. Association of American Railroads six-month data is out. In the interim, Susquehanna Financial Group (SFG) data scientists have circulated their freight market view. As well, we’ve added some FreightWaves SONAR intermodal data to the mix.
In my most recent Railway Age article entitled “U.S. Railroads Resurgent With Digitization at Just the Right Time,” I described how the railroads were the driver of U.S. growth, expansion and prosperity. They provided the spine for the economy to flourish.
This will raise eyebrows no matter how innocently it arose: Carriers intentionally cut trans-Pacific sailings to align capacity with virus-stricken demand, but demand turned out to be higher than expected. Spot rates skyrocketed and some analysts now predict rates could fuel big profits for carriers in a year when U.S. importers face a pandemic-induced recession.
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) on June 17 identified four key areas where the container shipping industry in the San Pedro Bay port complex of Southern California can overcome current supply chain disruptions.
The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) was on track for a record fiscal year—until the coronavirus spread across the globe.
The Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has outlined two scenarios for COVID-19 economic fallout: “Single Hit,” in which the virus continues to recede and remains under control, and “Double Hit,” in which a second wave of infections erupts by year-end.
The operational team at a Class I railroad was working to finalize train departure schedules for the next week. That’s when it spotted something on the railroad’s weather intelligence dashboard: An unexpected high-wind storm was coming in three days and was forecast to hit a train en route, potentially derailing cars and causing hundreds of thousands in damages.
As the freight economy recovers, several important trends are centered around Los Angeles: import volume, outbound freight volume, and intermodal’s degree of competitiveness with truckload. In short, LA is hot with an improving freight market boosting both truckload and intermodal as shown in the FreightWaves SONAR charts below.
Rail volumes could rebound in the second half of the year, but the pace of a rebound will depend largely on consumer confidence, executives from several Class I railroads cautioned at recent investor conferences.