TD Cowen: Still Searching for Positives in Near-Term

At TD Cowen, we are lowering our rail estimates ahead of third-quarter earnings reports to reflect a very challenged environment. Leaders in the rail and logistics market who attended our latest Railroad Happy Hour” called the current outlook “bleak,” with growing uncertainty in 2025.

South Carolina Ports Authority’s rail-served inland ports continue to see strong volumes, serving as key connections between inland markets and the Port of Charleston.(Photo/SCPA/English Purcell)

Intermodal Briefs: SC Ports, IANA

South Carolina Ports Authority’s (SC Ports) rail-served Inland Port Greer handles record cargo in August. Also, the University of North Texas (UNT) notches another win in the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) case study competition.

Union Pacific Photograph

AAR: North American Rail Volume Down Through 37 Weeks

For the first 37 weeks of 2023 (ending Sept. 16), total U.S. weekly rail traffic dipped 4.1% from the same point last year, according to the Association of American Railroads’ (AAR) Sept. 20 report. Both Canada and the U.S. saw declines, while Mexico saw an increase.

For Quebec, C$60MM to Improve Rail Transport Infrastructure

The Government of Quebec on Sept. 19 announced C$60 million in funding to maintain and improve the condition of rail transport infrastructure in Quebec.

The North Platte Nebraska Volunteer Fire Department on Sept. 14 at 4:25 p.m. reported via social media platform X that “NP Fire & Hazmat are on scene with UPRR. The incident is contained at this time. They are monitoring the situation and the weather, adjusting their tactics and evacuations to keep responders and citizens safe. Stay alert to any changes that may come.” (Photograph Courtesy of NPVFD, via X)

Report: Explosion at UP’s Bailey Yard in Nebraska (Updated Sept. 20)

The Sept. 14 explosion from inside an intermodal container loaded on a railcar at Union Pacific’s (UP) Bailey Yard was contained within hours, allowing yard operations to resume. An investigation is under way.


Q&A with BNSF VP Transportation Matthew Garland

One by one, the U.S. railroads are getting their operating houses in order following the difficulties of 2022, and as that evolves we’re engaging with senior operations leaders to understand how they’ve

“We anticipated a modest peak season as our cargo numbers continue to stabilize at pre-pandemic levels,” Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero said during a Sept. 13 announcement of August 2023 volumes (POLB Photograph)

Intermodal Briefs: POLB, Port of LA, UIPA (Updated Sept. 15)

Overstocked warehouses and a consumer spending shift contributed to an August “cargo lull” at the Port of Long Beach (POLB), Calif. Also, August was a “solid month” for the Port of Los Angeles, with imports and exports increasing; and the Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) is establishing the Central Utah Agri-Park Project Area.

(Bruce Kelly Photograph)

J.B. Hunt to Acquire BNSF Logistics’ Brokerage Assets

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. has entered a definitive agreement to purchase the brokerage operations of BNSF Logistics, LLC, an affiliate of Class I railroad BNSF, the companies reported Sept. 14. Railway Age Contributing Editor Jim Blaze weighs in.

(CSX Photograph)

North American Rail Volume Continues Decline Through Week 36: AAR

Through the first 36 weeks of 2023 (ending Sept. 9), total North American carload and intermodal traffic decreased 4.1% from the prior-year period, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported Sept. 13. Both the U.S. and Canada experienced declines, while Mexico saw a gain.

ITS Logistics has issued its September index on port container and dray operations for the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf regions and on ocean and domestic container rail ramp operations for the West Inland and East Inland regions.

Intermodal Briefs: ITS Logistics, PANY/NJ

“All ocean regions are at normal operations and should remain so throughout the remainder of the year,” reports ITS Logistics in its latest U.S. Port/Rail Ramp Freight Index. Also, private investment of up to $300 million will go toward upgrading and expanding the Howland Hook Marine Terminal at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANY/NJ).