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Economics and Service Will Win the Day

Overall economic conditions and rail service will determine whether rail carriers and their shippers are able to capitalize on the marketplace in 2018. Declining business inventories, soaring consumer confidence, and an influx of discretionary income from income tax refund checks and lower overall tax rates should combine to support widespread economic

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Industry Focus – U.S. Paper Outlook

More than a third of the timber cut in the United States each year is processed into paper and paper products. Pulp logs are shipped to a mill where they are converted into chips. Sometimes the logs are chipped in the field and shipped to the mill in chip form

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March 2018 – Rail Service

Velocities started 2018 no better off than they ended 2017 and, in fact, were even worse. The slower train speeds suggest that service woes that drew shipper ire last year are not close to being resolved. January data suggests average train speeds across the network declined by about 1 mph from 2017 levels that

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March 2018 – Carloads

■ Small Growth Expected: Slow growth is expected in the rail carload market with a 1.4% increase forecast for 2018. Growth will accelerate in 2019 to a 2.7% clip, as tight trucking capacity is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. ■ Challenging Environment: A difficult trucking environment will make it hard for shippers to move

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March 2018 – Executive Overview

■ Train speeds are down significantly in recent weeks, with a consistent 3-5% drop every week since the Thanksgiving holiday period. ■ Shippers have complained openly about the poor service and extended transit times being experienced in recent weeks across most major railroads.  

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March 2018 – Outlook

■ Carloads dropped 5% in January, a worse than anticipated outcome. How much carload activity can increase will depend on rail service levels and the broader economy. ■ Slow growth is expected in the rail carload market with a 1.4% increase forecast for 2018. ■ Utilization of railcars in the system is now operating near the

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The Key Report will Be Employment

Welcome to FTR’s “Monday Morning Coffee “ blog. The following article is designed to keep busy executives up to date with the latest economic data releases. Released every Monday, this blog promises to keep our clientele updated with the latest weekly economic news and developments, highlighting its impact on the

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March 2018 – Intermodal Outlook

Change in the forecast this month: The forecast changes this month envision a strengthening marketplace for domestic and international intermodal movements.   International: Growth predictions in the international market increased modestly this month. Gains of 3.1% in 2018 and 3.0% in 2019 in the prior forecast increased to 3.9% for 2018 and 3.5% for 2019…

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March 2018 – Ports Review

North America: Import Statistics Inbound port volumes slowed in January despite declining business inventories that could have underpinned additional activity. Volumes grew 1.2% in January compared with the 2017 month. While it was less than the 7%-plus y/y growth experienced over the last 12 months, it was a significantly sm

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March 2018 – Train Speed Review

Service issues are abundant across the North American rail system as carriers work to move volumes efficiently across their networks. Several carriers are coping with a strong uptick in traffic that has challenged their ability to meet demand. A harsh start to the winter did not help with this struggle

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