June 8, 2020

The decline in rail shipments resulting from the economic disruptions from the pandemic is starting to yield some opportunities to streamline traffic. Last week Norfolk Southern announced with this reduced demand they have taken time to consider how to route traffic so that loads have fewer stops along the way. To the extent other rail lines follow suit with this review, one may expect that a range of shipments may benefit including;

  1. container flatcar shipments from a range of ports
  2. gondola railcar shipments originating in the Northeast headed to the mid-West;
  3. tank car shipment from a wide range of crude and refined product sources; and,
  4. seasonal shipments such as grain in covered hopper cars.

Time will tell whether the railroads take full opportunity of this reduced demand to tweak their handling and routing analysis

Further Reading About COVID 19 and Rail Car Impact:

Following is a staff report from the editors at Railway Age, Railway Track & Structures and International Railway Journal that will be continuously updated with the latest developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the global railway industry, the most significant posted up top.

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