In response to shipper complaints, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in March asked all seven Class 1 railroads operating in the U.S. to report on their operational plans for 2018. A late March letter from UP CEO Lance Fritz and early April letter from KCS CEO Patrick Ottensmeyer both specifically mentioned slowdowns in the Houston area.
ME2 is still in the news, with questions still outstanding as to the timing of its opening. The Surface Transportation Board wants the major railroads to report on how they will fix operational issues in 2018. New England is seeing some upgrades of propane terminal facilities. And the outlook for tank car leases.
Near-term tank car sublease rates were little changed from last week as warmer temperatures suggested what may be ahead -- the summer fill season.
Jay Harbison has more than 25 years of experience in energy logistics. He has a background in shipping crude by rail. But with 4J Energy, which he co-founded in 2015, his first job was shipping propane into Mexico. Harbison, president of 4J Energy, recently answered five questions for Energy Transport Insider, looking at the possible path ahead for the energy transport industry.
LPG tank car moves rebounded in March from February as cold weather persisted through the last month of the official October to March winter heating season. Total loaded LPG tank car moves rose 11.4% in March from February.
Short-term LPG tank car lease rates slipped as the new April to March contract season opened. Trading activity was quiet as market participants wrapped up final details of the contracting process.
In addition to the federal regs surrounding DOT-111 tank cars, the BNSF Railway has taken to charging more to haul DOT-111s and that’s not fair, said the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).
Fears on the part of natural gas liquids (NGL) traders that Energy Transfer Partners’ (ETP) Mariner East 2 (ME2) NGL pipeline may see further delays could become a reality as the project continues to be plagued by problems.
Short-term liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank car lease rates saw continued weakness this past week as the October to March winter heating season comes to a close.
After a year in which railroad operating performance metrics slumped and shipper complaints rose, all major railroads operating in the U.S. are being looked at by the STB.
Blackline Midstream LLC expects to start construction in April on an expansion of its Newington, NH propane terminal. When completed, the project will increase the volume of rail service to the terminal.
Near-term tank rail car sublease rates were somewhat lower amid thin volume in the latest week.
Loaded liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank car moves fell sharply in February from January as the winter heating season finished its fifth month. Total loaded LPG tank car moves fell 18% in February from January, according to a sampling of tank car moves compiled by Energy Transport Insider.
Even though propane prices are on the rise this year, there remain bargains. As in all markets, industry participants who can find the opportunity amid existing conditions stand to benefit.
Short-term tank rail car sublease rates were down marginally in the latest week, but for the most part, the market held steady amid quiet conditions.
By the end of 2018, UTLX will have retrofitted a total of 5,000 DOT-111 tank cars to the new DOT-117R standards, said David Murawski, senior vice president, sales and marketing with rail car manufacturer and seller Union Tank Car Company (UTLX).
This is the time of year when LPG marketers negotiate their supply contracts for the coming year, and the industry is buzzing with talk about what the coming year might bring. One of the biggest topics is ME2 and its future. Dissatisfaction with railroads is another.
There was little movement from last week’s tank rail car sublease rates in the latest week as many market participants were away from their desks attending an industry conference.
When propane demand surges, tank car lease rates and propane prices spike. The industry was left scrambling for product and tank cars in January. Good fleet management can help ensure that butane or propane is available at a reasonable price when needed.
The U.S. and Canada are two of the largest users of energy products in the world. Pipelines are the main way crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas are transported in both countries.