Short Lines & Regionals

AAR Week 47: Intermodal Continues to Drive Growth

Total U.S. rail traffic of 534,607 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Nov. 21, 2020, kept pace with the same week last year, rising 2.5%, based on a double-digit intermodal gain, according to a Nov. 25 report from the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Total carloads were down 7.2% to 233,478, compared with the same week in 2019, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was up 11.5% to 301,129 containers and trailers, compared with 2019.

Suds With Seidl: “Railroad Happy Hour”

We hosted rail industry experts in our third Suds with Seidl event. The overall mood was optimistic. The outlook for 2021 was strong, with one participant noting he was surprised to hear just how bullish his customers were this past week. Class I’s may be missing business opportunities, but there is still hope for greater communication via technology initiatives. We remain positive on the rail group.

End-to-End Intermodal Visibility, ‘Ship to Shore’

As freight transportation providers build up traffic volumes from pandemic-related lows, there remains a strong focus on supply chain visibility among ship operators, railroads and truckers. Additionally, shippers and beneficial cargo owners want better tools to see and track shipments from release to delivery, in the same way consumers track Amazon or UPS shipments. As consumers become more accustomed to better tracking and service standards, these capabilities are needed now at every stage of the transportation and handling process.

STB: Now (Finally) There Are Five

Robert Primus and Michelle Schultz, whose confirmation as the fourth and fifth members of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board have been on hold for months, were confirmed by the U.S. Senate late on Nov. 18. They are expected to be sworn in shortly, giving the STB its full complement of five members, a number set by the 2015 Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act.