Rail Closer Look: Boxcars 2022

Published Annually

The Rail Closer Look Series combines rail equipment intelligence with our Freight•cast™ forecasting model and FTR expert analysis to produce the industry’s most thorough and comprehensive rail equipment forecast and report.

Learn how the Boxcar fleet demographics are changing with limited new investment, and learn where new investment is expected to take place for the future.

NOTE: Please contact Derek Young at [email protected] or (888) 988.1699, ext. 66 with questions about the Rail Closer Look Series.

Boxcars are a versatile, enclosed car type used to ship a variety of general freight products. Because of the Boxcar broad purposed design, a large portion of this equipment is included in “railroad pools” which allow efficient shipping by preventing empty haul movements, a luxury not realized by the more specialized railcar types. The freight traffic base for the Boxcar fleet is closely tied to the general economy, as much of the commodity base is related to consumer spending and housing markets.
However, the significant cost of building new Boxcar equipment, combined with modally competitive shipping options, has caused this fleet to struggle since the 1980s. Despite modal shift, some industries are still heavily reliant on the Boxcar to serve their shipping needs, especially shippers of paper products. 

Closer Look: Boxcar Report Contains
  • Detailed fleet analysis
  • Current fleet sizes for each sub-segment
  • Pictures and illustrations of select car types, unique components, and important commodities
  • Unique characteristics inherent to sub-segments
  • Snapshot of each fleet segment’s age profile allocated by 5- year buckets over a car’s 50-year life
  • Historic deliveries, retirements, and utilization
  • Forecasts and projections by fleet segment: new car deliveries and retirements
  • Current and historic traffic activity across car types
  • Traffic shares, commodity drivers, and industry drivers
The full Closer Look Series includes Boxcar, Covered Hopper, Flat Car, Gondola, Open Top Hopper, and Tank Car reports.  The entire series is now available. Be among the first to receive this series of reports and gain a competitive advantage by increasing your knowledge of the rail car supply chain and macroeconomic indicators.

Closer Look: Boxcars

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Closer Look: Boxcars