Despite network congestion and macro-economic headwinds, intermodal achieved solid growth in 2015, according to the Intermodal Association of North America's fourth quarter and year-end Intermodal Market Trends and Statistics report. Domestic container gains more than offset declines in trailer volumes and marginal international increases to achieve overall 2.8 percent growth in total intermodal volumes.
As an asset class, railways have a worrying history. Railway mania in Britain in the 1840s left plenty of unwary investors nursing hefty losses; that episode sits in most lists of history's biggest speculative bubbles. But the prices of shares and bonds are dauntingly high, which has stoked interest in all manner of outlandish "alternative" assets in recent years. That, along with legal changes making it easier to repossess collateral that goes clickety-clack, may soon have investors funnelling cash into locomotives, carriages and goods wagons again.
Carlos Godinez, Mexico intermodal director with Celtic International, a Transplace company, provides an overview of the rail industry in Mexico, and how far it has come in terms of investment and improvements in service to support a surge of activity.
Nearly everything in our lives is impacted by rail, from food products to chemicals and energy. Total U.S. weekly rail freight traffic for one week in January 2015 was 548,055 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.1 percent compared with the same week last year, as reported by the Association of American Railroads.
FTR's Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for May, at -3.1, reflects the current manageable capacity utilization, which is expected to remain in place through 2015. As a result of improved capacity and low fuel prices, shippers are getting a welcome respite from rate increases. This environment should be maintained throughout the year. However, conditions affecting shippers will deteriorate in 2016 as the pressure from expected new regulations will put a significant drag on capacity.
The Transportation Software market is a large and varied market. Most researchers understate the size of this market since they focus on a few big and well-defined companies. However, there are hundreds of software and content firms in the transportation market. And amazingly, more entrants all the time.
The freight logistics sector slowed in July, following a seasonal trend, with both freight shipments and freight payments down 3.9 percent from the previous month. This drop was consistent with previous summers' drops, so should not be seen as the start of a decline in freight for the second half of 2014.