Freightwaves Breaking News

To Track 2021 Rail Freight Recovery, Bypass 2020

There’s not much statistical sense in using 2020 data as the benchmark when looking ahead to 2021. The statistical coverage of railway freight volume changes in Canada, Mexico and the United States is excellent. But after the extreme changes week-over-week due to the COVID-19 business impacts, maybe it is time to consider a different method.

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.

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.

FreightWaves SONAR: Carrier Cuts Send Trans-Pacific Rates Into Orbit

This will raise eyebrows no matter how innocently it arose: Carriers intentionally cut trans-Pacific sailings to align capacity with virus-stricken demand, but demand turned out to be higher than expected. Spot rates skyrocketed and some analysts now predict rates could fuel big profits for carriers in a year when U.S. importers face a pandemic-induced recession.