Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

RAIL SHIPPING: 10/31/09: FLAT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Rail shipping: 10/31/2009
                                 2008/2009                        2007/2008
YR TO DATE             -17.3%                                    -18.6%           
CURRNET WEEK       -12.6%                                    -17.3%           
4 WK ROLLING AVE.  -13.6%                                    -16.8%
As you can see the Current Week figures are starting to go down again, and the 4-week rolling average is stuck at –13.6%. We have hit a mini flat spot at this point and there is a good chance that rail shipping will begin to decline again. This would signal a slow-down in growth, not recovery.
 
 
Rail shipping: 10/24/2009
                                2008/2009                        2007/2008
YR TO DATE              -17.6%                                    -18.4%           
CURRNET WEEK        -12.2%                                    -15.7%           
4 WK ROLLING AVE.   -13.6%                                    -15.7%
There is a slight increase in rail traffic looking back over the Sept./Oct. period. Both the Current week and 4 week rolling average are slightly better, however we are still looking at negative 17.6% year to date. This is not the typical traffic one would expect pre-Christmas, but still a slight improvement is better than no improvement at all.
 
 
RAIL SHIPPING: 10/10/09, STILL   DOWN
 
Rail shipping: 10/10/2009
                                2008/2009                        2007/2008
YR TO DATE               -17.9%                                    -18.5%           
CURRNET WEEK        -13.9%                                    -14.9%           
4 WK ROLLING AVE.   -14.0%                                    -16.5% 
As these figures come in you can clearly see the deterioration in cross-country shipping is not improving. There is no indication that there is an economic recovery, other than a fantasy recovery reported by the media. There is a slight trend developing toward a slower decline, lets see if this holds.
 
Rail shipping: 10/03/2009
                                  2008/2009                        2007/2008
YR TO DATE                 -18.0%                                    -18.6%           
CURRNET WEEK           -15.0%                                    -15.8%           
4 WK ROLLING AVE.     -16.0%                                    -18.8%
Rail shipping remains in the dumps and not improving much, the Yr. To Date and Current Wk figures have improve a little but may only reflect yearly trends. There is no firm indication that rail shipping is starting to increase.
 
Rail shipping: 9/26/2009, week 39
                                      2008/2009                  2007/2008
YR TO DATE                 -18.1%                                    -18.7%
CURRNET WEEK           -16.2%                                    -18.7%           
4 WK ROLLING AVE.      -17.2%                                    -14.0%
 
Please compare these with week 36 below: a little better but still negative by huge amounts. Cumulative YR to date data is still declining: -19.8% vs. -18.1% over the last two weeks. This is still a very bad sign for the economy in general and Christmas in particular. There is nothing good in these figures except rail traffic in chemicals. Maybe we should all take a bath is sulfuric acid. 
From previous post:
The cumulative Week 36, YOY rail figures have move down from -17.1%, the last weekly decline to –19.8% adding another almost 3% to the deterioration. Cumulative traffic decline is flat at -18.4%. Remember the cash for clunkers stimulus program should have affected these figures. It did not. There can’t be a real GDP recovery without rail traffic and rail traffic figures should be increasing.