Wednesday, September 9, 2009

US and Canadian Rail Freight has Bottomed Out

Industry Bosses Believe the Worst May Be Over
Shipping News Feature

TORONTO, CANADA – After what all parties agreed was a disastrous year for the industry, rail bosses from around the US and Canada took part in a web conference to discuss the current situation and future prospects for their respective companies.

Representatives of the Canadian National Railway Co. (CNI), Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. (BNI), all commented that they had noted rising volumes of traffic over the past few weeks although trade was still significantly lower than the same period for 2008.

Norfolk Southern Chief Financial Officer Jim Squires commented "It does appear that we have experienced a bottom in the economy." Thomas N. Hund, chief financial officer of Burlington Northern, the largest rail carrier of intermodal traffic in the US, said he had noted " a modest uptick in our cargo volumes over the last six or seven weeks."

Claude Mongeau, chief financial officer of Canadian National Railway Co. (CNI), and the man due to take over as CEO on New Years Day, said "We have found the bottom and it is a good one, we are finding a floor to this economic contraction." He added that CNI had recorded a steady upswing in freight volumes for the previous 14 to 16 weeks but that a full recovery could take “three to four years”.