Railroads are limiting container loads into locations like Chicago. Here is why:

  • Inland container yards are full
  • Warehouses are full. Prologis Inc. said the vacancy rate in the firm’s top 30 U.S. markets is 3%—good for them but historically vacancy rates are >5%
  • Chassis are scarce: Direct ChassisLink Inc. said that because of the extended time his trailers are stuck beneath containers I.e. acting as a storage location — it takes 26,000 more of the trailers to move 11% fewer shipments.

But there appears to be less rail traffic density as less crude oil is on the rails — half of what it was in 2020 (See graph)— but don’t forget railroads are contending with higher turnover and less ability to recruit and train.

Future delivery prices are an indication of the direction the market may go. They specifically exclude all taxes.

Will I see you at CSCMP this year?