The decline in rail freight is as relentless as ever. The Association of American Railroads reported late last week that freight was down “sharply” year over year for the week.
WASHINGTON, April 23, 2009 — Freight traffic on U.S. railroads was off sharply during the week ended April 18 in comparison with a year ago, the Association of American Railroads reported today.
U.S. railroads originated 255,269 cars during the week, down 24.3 percent from the comparison week in 2008, although up 2.8 percent from the previous week this year. In comparison with last year, loadings were down 20.6 percent in the West and 28.6 percent in the East. All 19 carload commodity groups were down from last year, with declines ranging from 9.3 percent for grain mill products to 63.6 percent for metallic ores.
Intermodal volume of 183,141 trailers or containers was off 18.3 percent from last year, although up 2.7 percent from the previous week this year. Container volume fell 12.9 percent from last year, while trailer volume dropped 37.7 percent.
If the economy is recovering we’re sure not seeing it in blue collar America. As I’ve said before, you can take your cues from the people that shower before work or the people that shower after work. While the people that shower before work go to Washington for more handouts and taxpayer dollars I’ll continue to focus my time on the people who shower after work in order to gauge whether the economy is actually recovering. So far, we’re not seeing it. But please, be my guest and continue to listen to those bankers….
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.