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Mon Oct 7, 2019, 01:09 PM

American Railroads Are Already in Recession With No End in Sight

• Carloads tumbled the most in three years in third quarter
• ‘There are no pockets of growth’ in cargo, analyst says

By Thomas Black

This year’s railroad slump is getting worse as a slowdown in manufacturing threatens broader weakness in the U.S. economy.

There’s no bottom in sight as the decline in carloads for large U.S. railroads widened to 5.5% in the third quarter, the biggest drop in three years, according to weekly reports from the Association of American Railroads. Shipments are down for autos, coal, grain, chemicals and consumer goods, with crude oil the only bright spot.

The rail downturn underscores the damage from the U.S.-China trade war, which is making shippers more cautious and crimping freight -- validating earlier warnings from railroad executives. Companies that stocked up on inventory last year amid President Donald Trump’s tariff threats are now working it off. Adding to the cargo drop, a brief rise in coal exports has fizzled and bad weather has delayed crop harvests and dragged down grain carloads.

“What’s quite clear is that we’re not yet at a trough -- trains have not yet bottomed,” said Ben Hartford, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. “We need to have some clarity in trade policy.”

While a railroad recession doesn’t necessarily presage a broader slump, it’s a dramatic turn from 2018, when rising shipments of autos, coal, lumber, chemicals and other commodities spurred U.S. rail carloads to rise 3.6%. Last year’s hot freight market jacked up trucking prices, and transportation costs spiked for companies including General Mills Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co.

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-07/american-railroads-are-already-in-recession-with-no-end-in-sight?srnd=premium

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Reply American Railroads Are Already in Recession With No End in Sight (Original post)
RCW2014 Oct 7 OP
RCW2014 Oct 7 #1
Currentsitguy Oct 7 #2

Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Mon Oct 7, 2019, 03:05 PM

1. {{{crickets}}}

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Mon Oct 7, 2019, 03:10 PM

2. Road freight is killing them ATM.

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