Susquehanna Financial Group

AAR: Railroads Working to Keep Network ‘Fluid’

While U.S. carloads were up 4.1% in August 2021, the 3.3% fall-off in intermodal volume kept combined traffic virtually flat with the prior-year period, as railroads navigated “chassis and container shortages at ports; shortages of drayage truck drivers; port congestion; insufficient warehouse capacity at many locations; and now, weather problems in the Gulf,” AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray reported on Sept. 1.

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.

Railroad Traffic Analysis, A Different Approach

It’s third-quarter 2019 railroad financial results reporting time, and sometimes, insight about rail freight markets comes from strange places. One of those might just be the quarterly report by J.B. Hunt (JBHT). The Hunt logistics company is one of the largest U.S. intermodal rail organizers. It essentially buys contracted intermodal train service from railroad companies like BNSF and Norfolk Southern.