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

RAIL SHIPPING: 11/21/09. A STATISTICAL RECOVERY

Rail shipping: 11/21/2009
                                2009vs.2008                        2009vs.2007
YR TO DATE               -16.7%                                    -18.1%           
CURRENT WEEK         -05.3%                                        3.9%   
4 WK ROLLING AVE.   -09.4%                                    -12.7%
A Statistical recovery continues. Looking back at this period last year can be misleading as data was so bad last year. Never the less there still is a slight move in data to the upside. Maybe this trend will continue, the next 8 weeks will clear this up.
 
Rail shipping: 11/14/2009
                                2009vs.2008                        2009vs.2007
YR TO DATE               -16.9%                                    -18.5%           
CURRENT WEEK         -08.4%                                    -16.4%           
4 WK ROLLING AVE.   -11.3%                                    -17.1%
Again, all averages compared to last year improved slightly last week. This trend should continue as comparisons to last year’s dismal shipping help this indicator improve. Comparisons of the spread between trailing weeks are improving as well which is also a good sign.
 
Rail shipping: 11/7/2009
                                2009vs.2008                        2009vs.2007
YR TO DATE              -17.1%                                    -18.6%           
CURRENT WEEK        -11.1%                                    -18.0%           
4 WK ROLLING AVE.   -12.7%                                    -17.2%
All averages have improved again vs. their look back periods of one-year prior. We are entering a period of cyclical weakness and comparison with last year in the same time frame will be difficult.
 
Rail shipping: 10/31/2009
                                 2009vs.2008                        2009vs.2007
YR TO DATE              -17.3%                                    -18.6%           
CURRENT 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 slow-down in growth, not recovery.
 
 
Rail shipping: 10/24/2009
                                   2009vs.2008                        2009vs.2007
YR TO DATE               -17.6%                                    -18.4%           
CURRENT 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
                                  2009vs.2008                        2009vs.2007
YR TO DATE               -17.9%                                    -18.5%           
CURRENT 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
                                  2009vs.2008                        2009vs.2007
YR TO DATE               -18.0%                                    -18.6%           
CURRENT 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
                                    2009vs.2008               2009vs.2007
YR TO DATE                -18.1%                                    -18.7%
CURRENT 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.