There are just over 1.6 million railroad freight cars in the U.S. market. Yet, on any given day more than 900,000 won’t move.
WOW! That’s a big number. Why?
Freight cars stand still in railyards waiting for an empty car placement from shippers. They stand empty on customers’ sidings. Loaded railcars in general cargo (manifest) service often sit idle for 23 hours in a switch yard before being routed to their destination, according to Oliver Wyman’s industry expert Rod Case. This is the opposite of most trucking utilization patterns.