Price Trends: Rail


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In February 2010, average prices for intermodal rail freight services increased 0.3% from a month ago and 5.5%  from February 2009. But compared to the same month two years ago, intermodal tags remain down 2.9%. These price changes mirror changes in U.S. rail intermodal traffic as reported by the Association of American Railroads. Carload tags, however, despite a one-month 0.3% price cut this past February, now stand 0.3% above price levels set two years ago. After a fuel-driven August 2008 cyclical price peak to a trough set in April 2009, price trends are now settling into more typical inflation patterns. Our forecast continues to call for rail transportation prices to increase 3.5% in 2010 and 2.1% in 2011.

% Change vs. 1 month ago 6 mos. ago 1 yr. ago
Rail freight -0.1 1.0 2.6
Intermodal 0.3 1.4 5.5
Carload -0.3 1.0 2.5

Source: Elizabeth Baatz, Thinking Cap Solutions. E-mail: [email protected]


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