2008 Touchbase Newsletter Archive

December 2008 – Analysts Forecast 2009 Construction Market To Continue To Slide

  • Due To Metals Market, BNSF Discontinues Penalties Associated With Unused Car Orders.
  • Railroads Must Continue Making Investments In Infrastructure To Take Advantage of A Turnaround, And Therefore Rising Demand, When It Does Occur
  • U.S. Rail Traffic Down In October

November 2008 – Data Shows Steel Shipments In The U.S. and Canada Declined At Double-Digit Rates in August

  • Three Class I Railroads Cut Fuel Surcharge Rates
  • CN Announces Optional Service Tariffs
  • Fed Lowers Benchmark Rate By A Half-Point As It Continues to Fight The Credit Crisis; Warns That Economic Recovery Will Take Time

October 2008 – Spring Wheat Market Continues To Come Under Pressure

  • Union Pacific To Implement Changes To Their Existing Private Empty Car Storage Program
  • Despite Traffic Decrease In September, Coal, Metallic Ores and Misc. Categories Saw U. S. Carload Increases
  • Major Banks Around The World Are Cutting Back On Their Lending

September 2008 – Over Four Year Period, Cement Consumption Predicted To See The Worst Decline Since The Great Depression

  • Norfolk Southern Announces New Billing Process For Empty Car Movements
  • U.S. Grain Exports Highlight Need For Infrastructure Boost
  • With High Fuel Prices, Shippers Find Rail Fuel Efficiency As One More Reason To Turn To Railroads To Meet Their Transportation Needs

August 2008 – Global Steel Demand Continues to be Led by Emerging Economies

  • Railroads Thriving During Economic Uncertainty
  • Grain and Chemical Carloads Reportedly Up in June; Coal, Motor Vehicles and Equipment, and Coke Carloads Down
  • Many Economists Urge That Feds Must Raise Federal Funds Rate to Combat Inflationary Pressures

July 2008 – Lumber Demand Expected To Further Decline in 2008; Recovery Expected in 2009

  • CSX E-Business Workshop Planned For September 29 through October 1
  • Car Repair Facility Labor Rate To Increase 3.1 Percent To $97.75 Effective July 1
  • Federal Reserve Keeps Fund Rate At Two Percent Marking The First Time In Nine Months That Rates Haven’t Been Cut

June 2008 – Turmoil In The Credit Markets And A Weakening Economy Guarantee That Housing Markets Will Face Another Challenging Year

  • Bill Aimed At Rebuilding Nation’s Infrastructure Enters House
  • Container Shortage Frustrates U.S. Exporters
  • During April Policy Meeting, Federal Reserve Officials Downgraded Expectations For The Economy

May 2008 – Global Steel Industry Predicted to Continue Enjoying Strong Pricing For At Least The Next Two Quarters

  • Norfolk Southern New “Pacesetter” Tool Aimed at Providing Shippers With More Control Over Their Supply Chains
  • Slow Economy Will Restrict Freight Car Orders and Production
  • AAR to Hold Customer Forum To Allow Shippers The Opportunity to Voice Their Concerns to Railroad Officers

April 2008 – U.S. Demand For Domestic Corn Increasing To Support Ethanol Production

  • Since 1990, Railroad Fuel Efficiency Has Improved By Over 25 Percent; Rail Transportation Three Times More Efficient Than Truck
  • Strong Export Markets Boosting Rail Coal & Grain Movements; Housing Market Negatively Impacting Lumber, Wood and Intermodal Carloads
  • Feds Attempt To Restore Confidence In The Economy With Another Three-Quarter Percentage Point Cut

March 2008 – Spurred By Industrialization In Developing Countries, Global Demand For Aggregates Is Expected To Grow

  • New CSX Price Look-Up Tool Now Available
  • Carloads of Grain, Coal, Chemicals Up; Coke, Lumber and Wood Products, Crushed Stone, Sand & Gravel Down
  • Since Congress Partially Deregulated The Rail Industry in 1980, Traffic Volume Has Increased By 95 Percent

February 2008 – Near Record U.S. Coal Production Forecasted For 2008

  • Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian Auto Workers Union Reach Tentative Three Year Agreement; Avert A Strike
  • 2007 U.S. Rail Freight Traffic Second Highest In History
  • Facing Fears of a Recession, Federal Reserve Slashes Federal Funds Rate to 3.5 Percent

January 2008 – While U.S. Scrap Prices Weaken, International Steel Demand Predicted To Drive Scrap Demand Up

  • Union Pacific to Implement Automated Process For Empty Car Billing
  • Our Outlook For Rail Transportation In 2008
  • Recession Fears Prompt Federal Reserve to Lower Funds Rate Another Quarter Point