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Charting U.S. Rail Freight Through a Troubled First Half

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.

First in a Series: Has Amtrak Declared War?

This writer began working on this series on June 19. It was Juneteenth, the day an increasing number of Americans of all colors and heritages now view as an occasion to celebrate freedom. Part of the freedom that many Americans treasure is the freedom to travel, as stated in the First Amendment of the Constitution. The “right to travel” is one thing, in the sense that government cannot unduly restrict travel (as questionable as that assumption may appear these days), but there is also the issue that this sacred “right” can be limited if access to mobility is also limited. Millions of Americans who depend on Amtrak for part of their travel are about to lose a significant portion of the mobility they have today.

FreightWaves SONAR: Need For Speed Drives Ships To Pacific Ports

The battle for Asian containerized exports rages on between West and East Coast ports. The East had been steadily gaining ground, but COVID-19 is changing the balance in favor of the West, at least in the short term. The most immediate effect of the coronavirus was a shift from air cargo to premium ocean service. Advantage West Coast ports. Former air-cargo shippers with time pressures don’t take the long route to the East Coast.

O’Malley Departing RSI

After just over two years at the helm, Railway Supply Institute (RSI) President Mike O’Malley is leaving the organization at the end of July. O’Malley, who has served as RSI’s leader since early 2018, is “pursuing an opportunity with a corporation outside the Washington, D.C. area,” RSI said in an announcement. O’Malley joined the organization after serving in a government relations capacity with CSX.