There’s been no dent in rail freight traffic in North America resulting from March’s triple disasters in Japan … yet. But expect that to change, cautions a report from Argus Rail Business. The Argus Media publication cites Datamyne data on imports to trace the major ports and, by extension, rail lines, handling containerized shipments from Japan.
Overall, import flows rose in West Coast ports that do the most business with Japan through the end of April. “Ships take about two weeks to cross the ocean, plus goods were already ready to go in Japan,” Port of Long Beach spokesman Art Wong is quoted as saying by Argus. “So it would be April before we saw any impact.”
Carriers operating car-carrying vessels and Class I railroads are, however, seeing reduced numbers of imported vehicles. Recently announced cutbacks in North American production by Japanese carmakers Toyota and Honda may take their toll on freight volumes.
Read the full article in Argus Rail Business here.