FTR: Rail Freight Volumes Have Likely Bottomed Out

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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FTR Transportation Intelligence has released the COVID-19 Rail Freight Recovery Index “to provide visibility on the state of the rail market as anticipation of an economic restart grows.” The Index currently shows that rail volumes in the intermodal and carload sectors “are likely near the bottom,” FTR says.

“While a recovery is expected following economic restart, the length of the recovery is largely unknown,” FTR says. “The firm will be updating this index weekly “with the expectation that it will be a valuable tool for freight professionals to better understand where we are at within the recovery.”

The COVID-19 Rail Freight Recovery Index measures rail and intermodal’s response and recovery based on pre-pandemic levels, while accounting for historical patterns and seasonal fluctuations. Indexes are now available for North American carload and intermodal, economically sensitive freight, automotive and energy sectors.

Todd Tranausky

“The FTR Rail Freight Recovery Index provides necessary context to shippers and carriers on how sharp the volume declines have been in response to COVID-19, and how far away from ‘normal’ the current situation places particular commodity groups,” notes Vice President of Rail and Intermodal Todd Tranausky. “As the recovery continues and states slowly reopen their economies, the index will provide a valuable tool to the rail supply chain to understand where the recovery is related to pre-pandemic levels.”

Detailed commentary and index graphs are available at

Listen to this Rail Group On Air podcast featuring FTR’s Eric Starks and Todd Tranausky, Railroad Financial Corp. President and Railway Age Financial Editor David Nahass and Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono.

Categories: Class I, Finance/Leasing, Freight, Freight Forecasting, News, Short Lines & Regionals, Switching & Terminal Tags: , ,