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December 2018 – Executive Overview

■ The year-over-year declines in average train speeds have moderated, as service conditions stabilized and the industry starts to lap the significant declines experienced in 2017. ■ But the absolute level of velocity remains at the 23mph level, where it has been the last three months. This number is a little over 1mph

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December 2018 – Outlook

■ Seasonally-adjusted rail carload growth is expected to jump on a year-over-year basis in January 2019. Its forecast 6% growth rate would be the highest since early 2017. ■ Beyond January, year-over-year growth is forecast to moderate back to the 2-4% range it has maintained much of this year. ■ Railcar utilization is expected to remain

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December 2018 – Intermodal Outlook

Trailers weaken as past gains catch up: The domestic trailer forecast saw the most significant reduction this month as the sector starts to feel the effect of its large gains over the last 12-18 months. Trailer volumes are forecast to be flat in the current quarter before a slight decline

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December 2018 – Ports Review

North America Latest Import Statistics (Current Month) Imports increased significantly in October, up 13% compared with the same month in 2017. October was a strong month, by any measure, as the month was 10% stronger on a seasonally-adjusted basis. That result reinforces the 13% gain on an absolute basis. The 10% and 13% increases posted…

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December 2018 – Train Speed Review

Intermodal train speeds are an imperfect indicator of service quality, in that they only deal with line-haul (not terminal) operations and also say nothing about service consistency. However, when speeds drop sharply, it is a good indication of service issues. Because of differences between railroads, speeds should not be compared

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December 2018 – AAR Review

AAR weekly data provides the most timely information on recent intermodal activity. Data is issued on Wednesday of each week, covering the prior week’s movements.   Intermodal loadings are increasing: U.S. intermodal loadings have powered the upward momentum in overall North American volumes in recent weeks on a rolling

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December 2018 – Intermodal Review

Total: Intermodal volumes for international and domestic each grew substantially in October compared with the prior year, after two consecutive months of sequential and year-over-year drops. International: International traffic was aided by a boost in port activity, particularly at U.S. West coast and Southern California ports, where volumes increased

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December 2018 – Executive Overview

Overview: International and domestic intermodal volumes increased dramatically in October after two consecutive months of declines in year-over-year growth. International: International traffic increased at close to the same rate as domestic traffic compared with the prior year. Domestic: Domestic volumes showed a significant amount of life sequentially while performing nearly

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Midterm Election’s Impact on Transportation is subtle but important

With the final major contest settled following the November 27 runoff in the Mississippi Senate race, the makeup of the 116th Congress is essentially settled. In the Senate, Republicans flipped seats in four states —  Florida, Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota — but lost seats in Arizona and Nevada for a net pickup

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November 2018 – Residential Construction

Residential Construction ■ Residential construction slid again in September. Housing starts fell 5.3% in September to an annual pace of 1.201 million units. The monthly decline was mostly in the multi-family sector, where starts slipped 15.2% to 330,000 units. Single-family starts fell 0.9% to an annual pace of 871,000. Total permits fell 0.6% to 1.241 million…

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