Freight traffic in the U.S. is expected to end 2017 on an upward trend. Railroads moved 463,602 carloads during the week ending November 25. The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports that was a 2.4 percent increase over the same week last year. An improving U.S. economy is credited for much of the increase in rail volume. Railyards managing increased volume can improve efficiency, save time, and prevent injuries by utilizing products like the RailCar Mover from DJ Products.
Key commodity groups
Four of the ten key commodity groups tracked by AAR showed increases: motor vehicles and automotive parts up 12 percent, nonmetallic minerals up 18 percent, metallic ores and metals increased by 8.9 percent. While rail volume increased in some groups, there were significant decreases in grain shipments (16.9 percent); non-grain farm products also decreased by 6.7 percent. Coal shipments typically increase as winter approaches but were down by 2.6 percent for the same time period. According to Railway Age, the cumulative volume of 12,199,607 carloads for the first 47 weeks of 2017 was a 3 percent increase over the previous year.
Industry must embrace innovation
Rail remains the most cost-effective method of moving high volumes of freight across the county. However, it is far from the quickest method. Rail companies must improve efficiency and cut costs in every area possible to remain viable.
One of the best ways to maximize manpower and lower costs associated with workplace injuries is to utilize a battery-powered RailCar Mover from DJ Products. These movers have industry standard rail car couplers that allow one person to pull or push rail cars weighing up to 200k lbs. Contact DJ Products to speak with one of our knowledgeable sales engineers about your equipment needs.