Greenbrier Daily Industry News

Domestic News

Big Data’s Benefits to Freight Rail and the Overall Supply Chain

FreightWaves recently chatted with Tom Forbes, vice president at Navis Rail, a technological solutions provider for the freight rail industry. Forbes was formerly CEO of Melbourne, Australia-based SaaS provider Biarri Rail, which Navis acquired in February.

ASLRRA Readies for 45G Milestone

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) reports that the $2.3 trillion omnibus appropriations/coronavirus relief/tax legislation introduced Dec. 20 in the House of Representatives includes 45G, which supports private investment in improving and building infrastructure up to a $3,500 cap per short line railroad mile. In this new legislation, the credit would remain at the current $3,500 per mile limit indefinitely; no expiration date will be built into the law.

Intermodal Markets: Rates Rise to YTD Highs

A national average intermodal spot rate of $2.62 per mile last week broke the year-to-date/all-time high in our data series (rising by 40 bps week-over-week) and underscores strong containerized imports and tight capacity on the rails, especially on the West Coast. At FreightWaves’ North American Supply Chain Summit on Tuesday, Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, told viewers that current volumes are running up 50% year-over-year, which suggests no near-term relief in West Coast port activity flooding intermodal networks.

What Will the Rail-Car Equipment Market Look Like in 2021?

It seems like I was answering this question 12 months ago, but for the year 2020. Then the pandemic hit with its economic impacts, none of them good for the rail-car industry except for rail-car storage companies.

NTSB Recommends Better Placement of Buffer Cars

The freight rail industry needs to reconsider where it places buffer cars and tank cars on trains carrying hazardous materials in order to better protect train crew members and reduce the severity of a potential accident, according to recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board concerning two accidents in April 2019 and February 2020. NTSB’s safety recommendations come from its investigations into two incidents involving breached U.S. Department of Transportation-111 tank cars on high-hazard flammable trains.

Canadian Pacific, IBEW Agree to Five-Year Labor Pact

Canadian Pacific and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Canadian Signals and Communications System Council No. 11 have negotiated a five-year collective agreement. The IBEW represents 360 signal maintainers at CP in Canada.

Pacific Harbor Line President Cliatt Named to FAMU Board

Pacific Harbor Line (PHL) President Otis Cliatt II has been appointed to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University's (FAMU) board by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Based in Tallahassee, FAMU was founded in 1887 and is the third-largest historically black university in the United States.

Refusing US Export Cargo May Violate Shipping Act, FMC Warns in Letter to Carrier Association

U.S. agricultural exporters have been vocal about export issues with ocean carriers for weeks. The export market out of Asia has been especially strong recently as U.S. retailers import and restock, which has led rates for cargo departing China to soar while rates for cargo out of the U.S. have not.

Port Nola Board Approves Land Purchase for $1.5B St. Bernard Container Ship Terminal

The Port of New Orleans oversight board voted Thursday to move ahead with the purchase of land for a long-planned, $1.5 billion second container ship terminal to be located in St. Bernard Parish. The board approved the purchase of nearly 1,100 acres in Violet at Mississippi River Mile Marker 83, adjacent to the existing St. Bernard Port, which is currently operated by the private sector firm Associated Terminals.

Aluminum Prices Push Toward 2020 High on Sanction Worries, Demand

Aluminum prices are trading near their highest levels in almost two years, fueled by soaring demand for raw materials and worries that potential new U.S. sanctions on one of the world’s largest producers could limit global supplies of the metal. Aluminum, used in everything from jet engines to electric vehicles, has surged more than 40% from its May lows, with contracts for delivery in three months closing at $2056.50 Friday, near the 2020 high of $2064.50 hit earlier this month.

Chip Shortage Slows Global Auto Recovery

Volkswagen AG said it would cut production in the first quarter in China, Europe and North America because of a shortage of chips, the latest evidence that chip production is straining to meet demand after pandemic-related cuts earlier this year. Global businesses have struggled to keep pace with the multispeed economic recovery across regions and industries as parts of the world slowly emerge from the pandemic, presaging what could be uneven growth next year with the potential for short-term setbacks.
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