Parallel first-quarter 2018 surveys conducted by Cowen and Company with rail shippers, and with shippers who own or lease railcars, indicate that the market is “generally positive” for railroads and railcar manufacturers.
The merger of Siemens’ mobility business and Alstom reached a milestone on March 23 with the signing of a Business Combination Agreement (BCA) setting out terms and conditions agreed to by the two companies.
Cowen and Company analysts Matt Elkott and Matthew Frankel are projecting a 20% sequential jump in freight car orders in the first quarter to 10,200 units (up 20% from the fourth quarter’s 8,500 units), since “buyers may preempt an acceleration in the steel price rally.”
President Trump has accepted the recommendations from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that steel and aluminum tariffs be implemented to prevent the dumping of foreign products at a discount. These cheaply sold products undercut the pricing of domestic (and other legitimately imported) steel and aluminum products.
Railroad intermodal growth rates appear to have plateaued, and the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate has changed some dynamics in the motor carrier market. Does this mean most low-hanging fruit has already been converted to rail, or can the railroads take advantage of the ELD disruption and capture additional market share?
The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) is now accepting 2018/2019 school year applications for its annual RSI undergraduate scholarship, which has been renamed the Thomas D. Simpson Annual Undergraduate Scholarship in honor of RSI’s newly retired president.
American Railcar Industries announced that its Board of Directors has appointed John O’Bryan as president and chief executive officer. O’Bryan had been serving as president and interim chief executive since January 1.
Despite a significant slowing in commodity traffic during the second half of last year, demand for railcars was relatively stable in the fourth quarter, according to the most recent report from Economic Planning Associates. After 8,671 cars were ordered in the third quarter, orders for 8,501 cars were placed in the fourth quarter.
More than 600 people have registered for the 250th meeting of the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) that will be held January 16–18, 2018 in Lombard, Ill. The theme for the meeting is “Can Rail Pick Up Transportation Capacity Shortfall?”