2005 Touchbase Newsletter Archive

December2005 – Economy Continues to Boom; Cost of Money Continues to Rise

  • AAR Proposed Changes to Extend Railcar Life from 50 to 65 Years
  • New Orders in the Metal Industry Surpass Those In 2004
  • Federals Funds Rate Forecasted to Top 4.75% In April 2006

November 2005 – Rail Car Loadings of All Commodities Continue to Show Overall Strength

  • In Spite of Hurricanes, September Rail Traffic Up
  • Need to Rebuild Coal Supplies Expected to Keep Coal Prices Firm
  • Prime Rate Expected to Climb to 6.75 Percent and Stay Constant through February 2006

October 2005 – Demand Created by Katrina Adversely Effects Transportation Market

  • Major Railroads Serving the Gulf Coast Continue to Repair and Restore
  • Railroad Productivity Up 200%; Rates Decreased 60% Since 1980
  • Balanced Risk Makes Sense In Rail Transportation Decisions

September 2005 – Class I’s May Capitalize on Katrina

  • BNSF Re-establish 52-Car Unit Wheat Train
  • Production of Stone, Gravel, Aggregates Up Compared to 2004
  • Prime Rate Expected to Rise to 7% by January 2006

August 2005 – Strong Demand for Rail Transportation to Continue

  • Coal Price Increase; Transportation Expected Culprit
  • Railroads Tweaking Fleets to Accomodate Increased Coal Demand & Supply
  • Federal Funds Increase Expected to Continue

July 2005 – Increased Efficiency=Better Service

  • BNSF to Implement Fuel Surcharge
  • Nations Demand for Cement Remains at Record Level
  • Expect Federal Funds Rate Increases to Continue

June 2005 – Transportation Strategy

  • Driver Shortage Appears to be Long Term Trucking Issue
  • Strong Canadian Dollar May Encourage Exports From The U.S.
  • USDA Estimates Slightly Larger U.S. Wheat Crops

May 2005 – Equipment Shortage

  • Small Road Gains Led by Stone, Clay and Aggregate Cars
  • Chinese Economy Continues to Wreck Havoc on U.S. Steel Prices
  • Look for Continued Increase in The Prime Rate