A recent review of the LA Freight Market that was published by Railway Age indicates that, at least for LA, recent trends indicate “LA is hot with an improving freight market boosting both truckload and intermodal” rail traffic. Of course, intermodal traffic is primarily container flatcar traffic. This study does show however that long-haul truck-based freight traffic is still competitive with domestic intermodal rail movements. We expect that many industries have taken another hard look at shifting some outbound shipments from rail to trucks in recent months as the overall demand declined and fuel costs plummeted. While LA may be experiencing a steeper rise in traffic than other parts of the U.S., the overall data and trend of a truck vs. rail very likely apply elsewhere in the Nation.
In other recent news, Freightwaves.com has reported that Class I railroads are “considering retaining some of the measures they implemented to scale down operations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic”. This may be good news if the Class I’s and short lines find ways to both serve industries and pass along a portion of those savings to their customers. Lower costs will very surely spur more use of rail options for both medium-and-long range shipments.
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