2007 Touchbase Newsletter Archive

December 2007 – Spring Wheat Market Shows Volatility, Not Excitement

  • BNSF Winter Open Top Loading Rules Effective December 1
  • Investment on U.S. Railroads Speculated To Come To A Halt If Congress Decides To Re-Regulate The Industry
  • Federal Reserve Battles Recession Fears; Optimists Forecast Federal Funds Rate Close To 3.75 Percent By Summer

November 2007 – As World Corn Prices Rise, So Too Do Those Of Wheat and Rice

  • Changes To BNSF Intermodal Storage Policy Effective November 5, 2007
  • 2007 Freight Carload Traffic Down From 2006; Considerable Long Term Growth Predicted
  • Citing Turmoil In The Housing Market, Feds Lower Funds Rate to 4.5 Percent; Dollar Hits New Low

October 2007 – Cement and Steel Companies Could See Demand Improve Over The Next Couple Years

  • CSXI’s Fuel Surcharge To Rise; UP’s To Hold Steady In October
  • Coke, Grain and Chemicals Carloads Up; Metallic Ore, Pulp and Paper Products, Metal and Metal Products Down
  • Fed’s Lower Interest Rates to 4.75 Percent; Another Quarter Point Cut Expected During October 31 Meeting

September 2007 – Slower Lumber Market Conditions Predicted in 2008

  • States Say “No” to Re-Regulating Rail Industry
  • STB Will Order Independent Study of Rail Competition
  • Most Investors Still Expect The Feds Will Cut the Federal Funds Rate During September 18 Meeting

August 2007 – USDA Reports That Current Crop Conditions Still Point Towards Large 2007 Corn, Soybean & Cotton Crops

  • ASLRRA Rallies Support From Politicians and Shippers for Tax-Credit Extension Bill
  • U.S. Freight Railroad Carload Traffic Down 2.7 Percent in June; 2007 Expected to be Second Highest Year for U.S. Intermodal Traffic in History
  • Our Job is to Make a Difficult Task Understandable – Interested in a Seminar?

July 2007 – Portland Cement Association Expects Single-Family Building Slump to Continue Into 2008

  • CN Introduces “Weekend Loading Advantage Program” Intended To Help Western Canadian Grain Elevator Operators
  • 2007 Estimated Rail Volume Totaled 789.4 Billion Ton-Miles, Representing a Three Percent Year-Over-Year Decline
  • As Signs of a Stronger Economy Have Increased, The Possibility of a Fed Rate Cut In Coming Months Has Faded

June 2007 – USDA Reports Corn Planting Largest In 63 Years; Experts Say Increase Driven By Ethanol Production

  • U.S. Lagging When It Comes to Transportation Investment
  • Freight Carloads of Chemicals and Petroleum Products Up; Crushed Stone, Sand and Gravel, Metals and Metal Products Down
  • Federal Reserve Keeps Funds Rate at 5.25 Percent; Investors See No Rate Hikes Ahead

May 2007 – Global Demand For Steel Puts Price At A Premium

  • UP, NS Teaming Up To Speed Eastbound Intermodal Trains From Los Angeles To The Southeast
  • Shippers, Carriers Addressing Necessary Infrastructure Improvements To Accommodate Projected 40 To 70 Percent Rail Volume Growth
  • Economy Likely To “Pick Up Steam”

April 2007 – Housing Slowdown Making 2007 a Harder Year for Cement

  • UP Lifts Coal Embargo
  • Snow, Ice and GDP Blamed in February Freight Traffic
  • Fed Keeps Rates at 5.25 Percent; Says That Recent Economic Indicators “Have Been Mixed”

March 2007 – Newsprint Consumption Down 24.2 Percent Since 1999; Prices Steadily Dropping

  • Tentative Settlement Reached More Than Two Weeks After CN Workers Began Strike
  • Bernanke Says Financial Markets “Working Well”; Speculators Say Futures Show Fed Closer to Cutting Interest Rates
  • Freight Car Trends: Managing Infrastructure To Help Create Efficiencies For The Railroads

February 2007 – Early Estimates Show Domestic Sand & Gravel Production and Consumption To Increase in 2007

  • BNSF Announces That It Will Divest Its Woodchip Gondola Fleet
  • U.S. Freight Railroads Complete Another Record Breaking Year; Freight Volume Up 2.5 Percent in 2006
  • Federal Funds Rate Sit Steady at 5.25 Percent

January 2007 – 2006 Falling Lumber Prices Due to Rising Mortgage Rates & Slower Housing Demand

  • The BNSF and CSX Seamless Intermodal Doublestack Corridor Set to Begin Service February of 2007
  • Rail Ton-Mileage Sets Ninth Consecutive Annual Record
  • Odds of 2007 Recession Likely; Many Economists Speculate That The Central Bank May Cut Rates In 2007