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North America Rail Freight Transport - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2018 - 2023)

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  • 110 Pages
  • August 2018
  • Region: North America
  • Mordor Intelligence
  • ID: 4622683
The North American Rail Freight Industry experienced a growth of 5% in freight volumes in 2017 and is expected to grow at a steady pace during the forecast period. Owing to the revamp of the oil and natural gas industry, the market for rail transport witnessed an increasing trend in the past two years. The role of the railroads in the North American energy industry has been continually growing. According to Association of American Railroads (ARR), in 2016, U.S class-one railroads carried 567 million tons, which accounts for 37.8% of the total rail freight movement and generated a revenue of USD12.9 billion. As the consumption patterns and the energy sources have been changing, the rail operators implement new solutions to move commodities safely and efficiently.

How Does Rail Freight Sector Benefit from NAFTA-
The trade relationships among the North American countries play a significant role in reshaping the rail freight industry. There is a need for proper negotiations between the railroad operators to access the vast benefits that the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has provided for the Mexican, Canadian, and United States economies. Regarding this scenario, leaders of the trade associations representing the rail freight companies in each of the nation issued a joint letter in Jan 2018, for improving rail infrastructure, productivity, customer service, and fostering innovation. Furthermore, the advanced rail lines between the nations are gaining a wide range of products into the rail shipment portfolio. Mexico stands as the top United States export market, which absorbs around 1 million barrels a day. Owing to the weak pipeline networks and the lack of connectivity, oil companies are turning to rail shipments to transfer oil products across the US-Mexico border. For instance, Kansas City Southern railway witnessed a 200% increase in the oil shipments to Mexico in 2017.
Additionally, most of the railroads in North America are owned by private companies. Typically, the company which owns the track operates their respective trains over it. Further, one company’s railroad doesn’t have any access to the other ones. Trade analysts believe that the mutual negotiations between the railroad companies offer better trade benefits and wholly benefit the Rail Freight Transportation Market.

Insights of Rail Freight in Canada
Canadian Freight Railways is one of the prime movers of the nation’s economy, which spreads over 50,000 Kms and is regarded as one of the safest, efficient, and cost-effective transportation systems in the world. Currently, half of Canada’s exports and approximately 70% of all intercity surface freight are moved by rail. The strong presence of intermodal terminals (rail, ship, and truck) across North America, has helped the railways to deliver more than USD150 billion worth of Canadian exports to the markets across North America and around the globe. Additionally, Canadian National Railway, which holds the major share in the market has implemented major expansion plans and further investing in cutting-edge technologies to improve the efficiency.

Role of Technology
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) projects a 41% increase in the freight shipments by 2040. The rail freight industry has made consistent private investments in the infrastructure and technology. The greatest freight rail network in the world is expected to witness next-generation innovations like lasers, drones, and automated technologies. For instance, Railinc, a subsidiary of Association of American Railroads (ARR) works to make U.S freight rail network, safer and efficient through big data. The insights enable the railroads to identify the necessary improvements for maintenance procedures and coordinate the movement of wagons. Further, railroads have deployed robust trackside detectors to identify microscopic flaws in equipment when train passes at full speed.

North America Rail Freight Industry Key Developments
Jun, 2018: Kansas City Southern, third oldest freight railroad in North America has announced an order for 50 GE transportation diesel locomotives for its Mexican and US subsidiaries. The locomotives will be equipped with advanced systems like trip optimizer fuel system, GoLINC networking technology, and locotrol distributed power controls, which enhances the productivity and operational efficiency of the Group.
Feb, 2018: The new president of Mexico has agreed to launch six railway projects, in which three projects are dedicated to rail freight. The first project includes the construction of a railroad in the Tehuantepec isthmus and is expected to connect the Pacific and Caribbean coast. Another new rail line from Guadalajara to Monterrey is proposed connecting the Mexican Pacific coast, with Mexico City and the United States.

North America Rail Freight Industry Major Players
  • Union Pacific

  • BNSF

  • CSX

  • Norfolk Southern Railway

  • Canadian National Railway

  • Canadian Pacific Railway

  • Ferromex

  • Alaska Railroad Corporation

  • Genesee & Wyoming

  • Kansas City Southern Railway Company

  • Lowa Interstate Rail Road Ltd

North American Rail Freight Industry Report Summary

Metrics Details

North American Rail Freight Industry

Study Period (2014-2023)
Market Size in 2017
USD 147.43 billion

Market Size in 2023
Provided in the full report

Growth Rate

Provided in the full report

Key Developments
  • Jun 2018: Kansas City Southern ordered 50 GE transportation diesel locomotives for its US and Mexican subsidiaries

  • Feb 2018: President of Mexico launched six railway projects, of which 3 projects are dedicated to rail freight.

Companies Covered
Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern Railway, Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway

Report Offerings
North American Rail Freight Industry offers latest trends, growth prospects, industry competitiveness, major players, segment market share and forecast to 2023.

Reasons to Purchase North America Rail Freight Industry Report
  • The current and future analysis of the sector in the developed and emerging markets

  • Various perspectives of the market with the help of Porter’s five forces analysis

  • Detailed analysis of the segment that is expected to dominate the market

  • Regions that are expected to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period

  • The latest developments, market shares, and strategies employed by the major market players

  • 3-month analyst support, along with the Market Estimate sheet (in Excel)

Report Customization and Benefits
This report can be customized to meet the desired requirements. Please connect with our analyst, who will ensure that you get a report that suits your needs.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1.1 Scope of the Market
1.2 Market Definition
1.3 Executive Summary
2. Research Methodology
2.1 Study Deliverables
2.2 Study Assumptions
2.3 Analysis Methodology
2.4 Research Phases
3. North America Rail Freight Industry Insights
3.1 Current Market Scenario
3.2 Technological Trends
3.3 Government Regulations and Initiatives
3.4 Insights on Effect of NAFTA on the Rail Freight Sector
3.5 Insights on Rail Relocation Process in Canada
3.6 Insights on the Freight Transportation Costs by Rail
3.7 Insights of Principal Rail Ports and Freight Movement between NAFTA Trading Partners
4. North America Rail Freight Industry Dynamics (Drivers, Restraints, and Opportunities)
4.1 Integration of Advanced Technologies- Intelligent Tracking Systems, and Big Data Analytics, etc.
4.2 Increasing Congestion on Highways and Roads, and Rail's Low Cost and Less Emission Transport
4.3 Railroads Face the Challenge of Aging Infrastructure and Decreased Efficiency in Some Areas
*not exhaustive
5. North America Rail Freight Industry Segmentation and Analysis (Market Size, Growth, and Forecast)
5.1 By Type of Cargo
5.1.1 Containerized
5.1.2 Non- containerized
5.1.3 Liquid Bulk
5.2 By Destination
5.2.1 Domestic
5.2.2 International
5.3 By Service Type
5.3.1 Transportation
5.3.2 Services Allied to Transportation (Maintenance of Railcars and Rail Tracks, Switching of Cargo, Storage, etc.)
5.4 Perspectives on End-users
6. Regional Market Analysis (Market Size, Growth, and Forecast)
6.1 United States Rail Freight Industry
6.2 Canada Rail Freight Industry
6.3 Mexico Rail Freight Industry
7. North America Rail Freight Industry Competitive Landscape
7.1 Merger and Acquisition, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements
7.2 Market Concentration Overview
7.3 Strategies Adopted by Major Players
8. North America Rail Freight Industry Company Profiles (Overview, Financials**, Products and Services, Recent Developments, and Analyst View)
8.1Union Pacific
8.2 BNSF
8.3 CSX
8.4 Norfolk Southern Railway
8.5 Canadian National Railway
8.6 Canadian Pacific Railway
8.7 Ferromex
8.8 Alaska Railroad Corporation
8.9 Genesee & Wyoming
8.10 Kansas City Southern Railway Company
8.11 Iowa Interstate Rail Road Ltd
8.12 Pan Am Railways
8.13 Vermont Rail System
8.14 Anacostia Rail Holdings Company
8.15 Quebec North Shore & Labrador Railway
*List not Exhaustive
9. Other Companies in the Report Include
9.1 BGI Worldwide Logistics, Aquaocean Transport, ET Transport, Belt Railway Chicago, ArcBest, DHL, Destination Logistics, Zircon Logistics, AFF Global Logistics, Worldwide Integrated Logistics (WIL), Canaan Transport Group, RW Freight Services Ltd, Yusen Logistics, Kerry Logistics, logistics Plus
10. Appendix
10.1 GDP Distribution by Country
10.2 SWOT Analysis of Railway Transportation in US
10.3 Statistical Data on Railway Network in North America
10.4 Comparison of Rail Transport with Other Modes of Transport, by Destination (Domestic and International), by country
10.5 Economic Statistics – Transport and Storage Sector Contribution to Economy
10.6 External Trade Statistics – Insights on key products imported and exported by rail (North America)
11. Disclaimer

Companies Mentioned

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • Union Pacific

  • BNSF

  • CSX

  • Norfolk Southern Railway

  • Canadian National Railway

  • Canadian Pacific Railway

  • Ferromex

  • Alaska Railroad Corporation

  • Genesee & Wyoming

  • Kansas City Southern Railway Company

  • Iowa Interstate Rail Road Ltd

  • Pan Am Railways

  • Vermont Rail System

  • Anacostia Rail Holdings Company

  • Quebec North Shore & Labrador Railway