What can we expect in volume growth moving toward the end of the year? (Tony Hatch)

Abhbw 2010

There was clear volume momentum by the end of the quarter into the current period. Currently, volumes are up, year over year, but remember 2019 was a poor year itself. Still, the trend, aided by re-stocking, housing, grain exports, and ecommerce, was very positive. October IANA numbers show the intermodal ecosphere growing at 7%, and that’s split Domestic +8%/International +6%. Will it last? Is re-stocking a one-time event? What is the secular trend in the consumer spend split between goods and services? Yesterday’s WSJ headline stated, “Retail sales growth loses steam” (up 0.3% Q/Q after September’s +1.6%). So  – can the railroads maintain service levels in a strong (or at least stronger) economy in order to take the long-awaited share recovery move in carload and (especially) domestic intermodal?