Freight carloads continue to slump

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Freight carloads continue to slump
Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 7:57 PM

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/us-rail-volumes-continue-their-drop/amp

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Posted by switch7frg on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 4:46 PM

Could this event be the reason  for the 200 or more lay-off??

Y6bs evergreen in my mind

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Posted by Juniata Man on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 5:25 PM

I suspect the decline in volume is a contributing factor to the recently announced furloughs.  Of course; NS is attributing the furloughs to their precision scheduled nonsense because that supports what they are trying to serve Wall Street.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 5:46 PM

Tariff's are working.

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Posted by JPS1 on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 6:35 PM

Juniata Man
 NS is attributing the furloughs to their precision scheduled nonsense because that supports what they are trying to serve Wall Street. 

Are you the Juniata Man because you are from Altoona or somewhere along the Juniata River?

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Posted by Juniata Man on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 7:00 PM

JPS1

 

 
Juniata Man
 NS is attributing the furloughs to their precision scheduled nonsense because that supports what they are trying to serve Wall Street. 

 

Are you the Juniata Man because you are from Altoona or somewhere along the Juniata River?

 

I grew up in the Juniata River Valley and spent considerable quality time in my younger days swimming, fishing and canoeing on the Juniata.

Its harder to get down and back up the river bank now that I’ve entered my senior years but; I still make it a point to go swimming in the Juniata when we go north each summer.

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Posted by JPS1 on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 9:44 PM

Juniata Man
 JPS1 Juniata Man 

I grew up in the Juniata River Valley and spent considerable quality time in my younger days swimming, fishing and canoeing on the Juniata.

Its harder to get down and back up the river bank now that I’ve entered my senior years but; I still make it a point to go swimming in the Juniata when we go north each summer. 

A close friend's family had a cottage along the Juniata near where the Raystown joins it.  I spent many a summer day canoeing and swimming in the Juniata River.  
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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, September 05, 2019 8:00 AM

BaltACD

Tariff's are working.

 

They will soon be coming home to roost.  I think it will be quite a surprise.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, September 05, 2019 9:50 AM

Euclid
 
BaltACD

Tariff's are working. 

They will soon be coming home to roost.  I think it will be quite a surprise.

Only to the huge one.

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, September 05, 2019 11:29 AM

BaltACD
 
Euclid
 
BaltACD

Tariff's are working. 

They will soon be coming home to roost.  I think it will be quite a surprise.

 

Only to the huge one.

 

It will be a surprise to him because he apparently believes that we will not feel any sense of distress from destoying a giant manufacturing economy.  He has certainly been told that by the architect of this mad plan. 

But there will also be a very big surprise to the American people who have not been paying attention.  The effect of tariffs is a delayed effect.  So it is easy to conclude that the tariffs are not working because we see no effect.  So the call is for more tariffs.   

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Thursday, September 05, 2019 11:31 AM

How much of the drop is due to the economy, and how much to customers forced away by PSR?  

Don't think you'll find that analysis anyplace public (if at all - doesn't hew to the PSR party line, methinks).

- PDN. 

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Posted by n012944 on Thursday, September 05, 2019 11:42 AM

Paul_D_North_Jr

How much of the drop is due to the economy, and how much to customers forced away by PSR?  

Don't think you'll find that analysis anyplace public (if at all - doesn't hew to the PSR party line, methinks).

- PDN. 

 

 

Truck traffic is also declining.  It would not be if PSR was the main culprit behing the railroads traffic dip.  (Although you won't see many anti PSR people admit that....)

 

20190510-freight-market-continues-to-slump-as-hot-truck-sales-add-capacity

"Freight remains soft, as expected, and while we see reasons for recovery in the second half of 2019, escalating trade tensions raise the risk of freight recession"

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, September 05, 2019 12:20 PM

Paul_D_North_Jr

How much of the drop is due to the economy, and how much to customers forced away by PSR?  

Don't think you'll find that analysis anyplace public (if at all - doesn't hew to the PSR party line, methinks).

- PDN. 

 

I don't think any of it is due to customers being forced away by PSR.  That is a narrative that always emerges in forums.  The article says nothing about the layoffs being due to customers being driven away by PSR, which happens to be a part of the narrative.  If anyting, it says that the the layoffs are a natural result of plant rationalizations being made possible by PSR. 

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Posted by zugmann on Thursday, September 05, 2019 2:05 PM

Paul_D_North_Jr
Don't think you'll find that analysis anyplace public (if at all - doesn't hew to the PSR party line, methinks).

Too many PSR fangirlz out there (and in here).

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, September 05, 2019 2:49 PM

Paul_D_North_Jr

How much of the drop is due to the economy, and how much to customers forced away by PSR?  

Don't think you'll find that analysis anyplace public (if at all - doesn't hew to the PSR party line, methinks).

- PDN. 

 

"Paranoia strikes deep... "

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Posted by zugmann on Thursday, September 05, 2019 2:52 PM

Since PSR has come about, I've seen several different modes of thought (for lack of a better term) take their turns.  That's the problem with PSR: it isn't one solid set of instructions, but it allows enough leeway (justification?) for questionable decisions to be made.

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, September 05, 2019 3:13 PM

As with most things, you can probably take a little bit from column A, some from column B, etc, etc.

And, as Zug suggests, if it comes down to pointing fingers, they'll all be pointed the "other way."

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Posted by azrail on Friday, September 06, 2019 2:38 PM

The question is..why are we buying so much crap from a dictatorship that has missles pointed at us, puts its citizens in jail for differences in opinion, and is copying what Imperial Japan was doing to Asia during WW2?

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Friday, September 06, 2019 10:18 PM

azrail

The question is..why are we buying so much crap from a dictatorship that has missles pointed at us, puts its citizens in jail for differences in opinion, and is copying what Imperial Japan was doing to Asia during WW2?

 

Sadly, it's because they are a buck cheaper.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, September 06, 2019 11:05 PM

Murphy Siding
 
azrail

The question is..why are we buying so much crap from a dictatorship that has missles pointed at us, puts its citizens in jail for differences in opinion, and is copying what Imperial Japan was doing to Asia during WW2? 

Sadly, it's because they are a buck cheaper.

It enhances 'shareholder value'.

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Posted by Euclid on Saturday, September 07, 2019 7:09 AM

azrail

The question is..why are we buying so much crap from a dictatorship that has missles pointed at us, puts its citizens in jail for differences in opinion, and is copying what Imperial Japan was doing to Asia during WW2?

 

That is soon coming to an end.  All the jobs that were lost are coming back home to be done by American manufacturing to the highest quality standards that were the pioneering hallmark of our industrial revolution.

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Saturday, September 07, 2019 9:06 AM

To the extent that it does, here's a follow-up question as it pertains to the railroad business:

Will the loss in the traffic of international container imports (and either exports or empty container returns?) be compensated for by an increase in domestic traffic, such as loose car, TOFC, and/ or domestic containers?  What percentage will go by rail vs. highway? 

I'll predict BNSF and UP will be the big losers - possibly also CN and CP to the extent they run from the West Coast (e.g., Prince Rupert) to the US; CSX and NS less so.

- PDN. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by Murphy Siding on Saturday, September 07, 2019 1:11 PM

Euclid

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

That is soon coming to an end.  All the jobs that were lost are coming back home to be done by American manufacturing to the highest quality standards that were the pioneering hallmark of our industrial revolution.

 

  Yeah, that's the ticket!Mischief

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Posted by MikeF90 on Saturday, September 07, 2019 5:04 PM

Euclid
That is soon coming to an end. All the jobs that were lost are coming back home to be done by American manufacturing to the highest quality standards that were the pioneering hallmark of our industrial revolution.

/S

Fixed it for you .... I think

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Posted by JPS1 on Saturday, September 07, 2019 6:47 PM

Euclid
 That is soon coming to an end.  All the jobs that were lost are coming back home to be done by American manufacturing to the highest quality standards that were the pioneering hallmark of our industrial revolution. 

According to what I have read, some of the manufacturing jobs in China are coming back to the U.S.  But some of them are going to Mexico, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, etc.
 
If the U.S. were to pull all of its manufacturing jobs out of China, where would China get the hard currency to buy Boeing airplanes, GE turbines, PWC accounting services, AIG insurance products, etc.?  Or heaps of U.S. agricultural products?
 
The U.S. has a manufacturing trade deficit with China, but it is offset in part by a services trade surplus.  I don’t remember the numbers off the top of my head, but the positive services trade account decreases the total Chinese trade deficit significantly.
 

The U.S. has a legitimate trade issue with China.  I don’t know whether tariffs are the way to get their attention.  But if China gets wacked really hard and stops buying Boeing airplanes, Boeing’s laid off machinists might not be too happy.  

 

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Posted by oltmannd on Saturday, September 07, 2019 9:34 PM

Paul_D_North_Jr

How much of the drop is due to the economy, and how much to customers forced away by PSR?  

Don't think you'll find that analysis anyplace public (if at all - doesn't hew to the PSR party line, methinks).

- PDN. 

 

NS's PSR plan started two months ago.  The traffic drop started way before.  

NS's intermodal network PSR plan isn't rolled out yet.

Manufacturing has been slowing down.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by oltmannd on Saturday, September 07, 2019 9:42 PM

JPS1

 

 
Euclid
 That is soon coming to an end.  All the jobs that were lost are coming back home to be done by American manufacturing to the highest quality standards that were the pioneering hallmark of our industrial revolution. 

 

According to what I have read, some of the manufacturing jobs in China are coming back to the U.S.  But some of them are going to Mexico, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, etc.
 
If the U.S. were to pull all of its manufacturing jobs out of China, where would China get the hard currency to buy Boeing airplanes, GE turbines, PWC accounting services, AIG insurance products, etc.?  Or heaps of U.S. agricultural products?
 
The U.S. has a manufacturing trade deficit with China, but it is offset in part by a services trade surplus.  I don’t remember the numbers off the top of my head, but the positive services trade account decreases the total Chinese trade deficit significantly.
 

The U.S. has a legitimate trade issue with China.  I don’t know whether tariffs are the way to get their attention.  But if China gets wacked really hard and stops buying Boeing airplanes, Boeing’s laid off machinists might not be too happy.  

 

 

The shipping container flattened the world.  Ever since, manufacturing has been chasing low cost labor around the globe.  What was 50 cents an hour in China 20 years ago is now $3 an hour.  Labor costs in Mexico have doubles since (and because of) NAFTA (which has cut the flow of Mexican men looking for work in the US to a trickle).

Jobs aren't coming back to the US.  The only way you can compete with low cost labor is by highly automating - which costs gobs of capital, that you need an even higher margin to cover.

Chasing low cost labor around the globe has drastically cut the number of people living in extreme poverty.  This is a GOOD thing.

What's this mean for RRs?  It means the future and growth look like an intermodal container.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by JPS1 on Saturday, September 07, 2019 10:36 PM

oltmannd
The shipping container flattened the world.  Ever since, manufacturing has been chasing low cost labor around the globe.  What was 50 cents an hour in China 20 years ago is now $3 an hour.  Labor costs in Mexico have doubles since (and because of) NAFTA (which has cut the flow of Mexican men looking for work in the US to a trickle).

Jobs aren't coming back to the US.  The only way you can compete with low cost labor is by highly automating - which costs gobs of capital, that you need an even higher margin to cover.

Chasing low cost labor around the globe has drastically cut the number of people living in extreme poverty.  This is a GOOD thing.

What's this mean for RRs?  It means the future and growth look like an intermodal container. 

Yes!!!!

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, September 07, 2019 10:42 PM

JPS1
 
oltmannd
The shipping container flattened the world.  Ever since, manufacturing has been chasing low cost labor around the globe.  What was 50 cents an hour in China 20 years ago is now $3 an hour.  Labor costs in Mexico have doubles since (and because of) NAFTA (which has cut the flow of Mexican men looking for work in the US to a trickle).

Jobs aren't coming back to the US.  The only way you can compete with low cost labor is by highly automating - which costs gobs of capital, that you need an even higher margin to cover.

Chasing low cost labor around the globe has drastically cut the number of people living in extreme poverty.  This is a GOOD thing.

What's this mean for RRs?  It means the future and growth look like an intermodal container.  

Yes!!!!

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' keep them boxes Rollin'

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Posted by Euclid on Sunday, September 08, 2019 8:26 AM

oltmannd
 
JPS1

 

 
Euclid
 That is soon coming to an end.  All the jobs that were lost are coming back home to be done by American manufacturing to the highest quality standards that were the pioneering hallmark of our industrial revolution. 

 

According to what I have read, some of the manufacturing jobs in China are coming back to the U.S.  But some of them are going to Mexico, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, etc.
 
If the U.S. were to pull all of its manufacturing jobs out of China, where would China get the hard currency to buy Boeing airplanes, GE turbines, PWC accounting services, AIG insurance products, etc.?  Or heaps of U.S. agricultural products?
 
The U.S. has a manufacturing trade deficit with China, but it is offset in part by a services trade surplus.  I don’t remember the numbers off the top of my head, but the positive services trade account decreases the total Chinese trade deficit significantly.
 

The U.S. has a legitimate trade issue with China.  I don’t know whether tariffs are the way to get their attention.  But if China gets wacked really hard and stops buying Boeing airplanes, Boeing’s laid off machinists might not be too happy.  

 

 

 

 

The shipping container flattened the world.  Ever since, manufacturing has been chasing low cost labor around the globe.  What was 50 cents an hour in China 20 years ago is now $3 an hour.  Labor costs in Mexico have doubles since (and because of) NAFTA (which has cut the flow of Mexican men looking for work in the US to a trickle).

Jobs aren't coming back to the US.  The only way you can compete with low cost labor is by highly automating - which costs gobs of capital, that you need an even higher margin to cover.

Chasing low cost labor around the globe has drastically cut the number of people living in extreme poverty.  This is a GOOD thing.

What's this mean for RRs?  It means the future and growth look like an intermodal container.

 

The shipping container was just the effect, not the cause.  I agree that jobs are not coming back to this country.   Our labor is overpriced compared to the rest of the world.  The actual cause of this overall trend was the rise of China. 

Despite the singing of praise for a worldwide free market, the grim reality was and is that we cannot compete on price in that market.  The result was predicted, and it came true as jobs flowed out of the U.S. and headed for the China.  It was a good thing for developing countries with lower labor costs, but a bad thing for the U.S. 

A win-win was impossible because it was fundamentally an equalization process with winners and losers.  Our country had to choose between the lowest possible cost for consumer goods or maintaining our manufacturing base by supporting its cost propped up higher than world supply/demand called for.  We chose the lower cost goods, and ditched our manufacturing.    

When I said above that jobs were coming back, I was only framing the grand plan now underway.  I certainly don’t endorse it, and I don’t think it has the slightest chance of succeeding.  But I do expect it to wreck the world economy, which includes ours.  That is because we have moved beyond just the free market model that led us to this point with massive job loss. 

We have moved from a free market model to a fair market model and fairness not a natural product of the free market.  Fairness has to be imposed in order to make trade “fair.”  While fairness sounds good, it is more a product of socialism than capitalism.  If we had fair trade instead of free trade, China would have agreed to import as much from us as we import from them.  With free trade, there is natural competition between winners and losers, and you let the best competitor win.

Now suddenly, according to a plan hatched by just two people, we are changing the rules by imposing tariffs to make world trade fair rather than free.  Imposing tariffs on Chinese imports has nothing to do with seeking the lowest price by chasing low cost labor around the globe.  Tariffs simply raise the price of the low cost labor by adding a massive tax imposed by our government.  It raises the poverty of low cost producing countries all over the world and that is a BAD thing. It raises the cost of U.S. consumer goods and that too is a bad thing.

Manufacturing will most certainly not flow back to our country as we intend by our killing of the competitive advantage of China by imposing tariffs.  In the first place, they will counterattack as all warriors do.  They are closing their markets to our exports to them.  Chinese manufacturing will flow to even lower cost producers in order to escape our tariffs.  Those producers now find themselves swamped with more manufacturing demand than they ever dreamed of.  Their prices will thus rise as their already low quality drops even lower. At the same time, China will become a wreck as there economy totally collapses into societal chaos. 

Meanwhile, our consumers will be paying more for their products while enjoying an even lower level of quality.    

So, I would say that the day of the shipping container has come and gone.

 

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