Chugging along: Demand for rail transportation will increase as the labor market improves

The Rail Transportation market research report provides key industry analysis and industry statistics, measures market size, analyzes current and future industry trends and shows market share for the industry’s largest companies. IBISWorld publishes the largest collection of industry reports so you can see an industry’s supply chain, economic drivers and key buyers and markets.


Industry Threats & Opportunities

  • Energy companies have increasingly turned to industry operators to transport their oil
  • While demand for coal remains unmoved, demand for consumer goods is increasing
  • Many railroad operators have invested in infrastructure and equipment upgrades

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    Industry Analysis & Industry Trends

    Rail transportation has made a comeback over the past few years. Increased fuel efficiency, growing demand for bulk freight transportation and a lower carbon footprint have resulted in greater demand for the Rail Transportation industry's services. In the coming years, freight volume and demand for rail transportation will increase as the labor market improves, consumers spend more freely and inventories are rebuilt...

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    Industry Report - Industry Analysis Chapter

    While industry revenue grew steadily early in the five-year period, it experienced heavy declines in 2015 and 2016. Collectively, increased fuel efficiency, growing demand for bulk freight transportation and a lower carbon footprint have resulted in greater demand for the Rail Transportation industry’s services. Initially, fluctuations in the price of oil also made rail transportation more competitive compared with other forms of transportation; this issue has particularly affected freight trucking because, according to major industry player CSX, trains are estimated to be four times more fuel efficient than trucks on a per-ton, per-mile basis. Nevertheless, the sharp declines in oil prices have recently created some headwinds for industry operators.


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    Additional Insights for the Rail Transportation Industry

    IBISWorld identifies 250 Key Success Factors for a business.The most important for the Rail Transportation Industry are

  • Automation
  • Ability to effectively manage risk
  • Production of premium goods/services
  • IBISWorld analysts also discuss how external factors such as Price of diesel and Total trade value in the Rail Transportation industry impact industry performance..

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    Industry Products

    What is the Rail Transportation Industry?

    The Rail Transportation industry comprises companies that operate railroads across the United States. This includes large railroads (Class 1 railroads) and regional and local line-haul railroads that carry freight and passengers. This industry does not include scenic and sightseeing rail transportation, street railroads, commuter rail or rapid transit.

    Industry Products
    Bulk freight
    Intermodal services
    Passenger services
    Other services
    Industry Activities
    Operating line-haul railroads
    Operating short line railroads
    Operating intercity passenger trains

    Table of Contents

    About this Industry
    Industry Definition
    Main Activities
    Similar Industries
    Additional Resources
    Industry at a Glance
    Industry Statistics Snapshot
    Industry Structure
    Executive Summary
    Industry Performance
    Executive Summary
    Key External Drivers
  • Price of diesel
  • Total trade value
  • Industrial production index
  • Demand from chemical manufacturing
  • World price of steaming coal

  • Current Performance
  • The rise and fall of crude oil prices
  • Operational trends
  • Chart: Revenue Growth

  • Industry Outlook
  • Investing in productivity
  • High-speed rail
  • Table: Rail Transportation Industry Revenue Outlook

  • Industry Life Cycle
  • Life cycle reasons
  • Chart: Benchmarking - Rail Transportation Industry Lifecycle vs The Economy

  • Products & Markets
    Supply Chains
    Key Buying Industries
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
  • Mining
  • Coal Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Petrochemical Manufacturing
  • Car & Automobile Manufacturing
  • Coal & Natural Gas Power
  • Consumers

  • Key Selling Industries
  • Petroleum Refining
  • Rail Maintenance Services
  • Train, Subway & Transit Car Manufacturing

  • Products & Services
  • Bulk freight
  • Intermodal services
  • Passenger services
  • Other services
  • Chart: Rail Transportation Industry Products and Services Segmentation

  • Demand Determinants
    Major Markets
  • Industrial goods market
  • Other
  • Coal market
  • Chemical market
  • Misc. mixed shipments
  • Consumers
  • Agricultural market
  • Food and consumer goods market
  • Chart: Major Market Segmentation for the Rail Transportation Industry

  • International Trade
    Business Locations
    Chart: Business Locations by State
    Competitive Landscape
    Market Share Concentration
    Key Success Factors
    Cost Structure Benchmarks
    ProfitPurchasesWagesRent, depreciation and other
  • Chart: Cost Structure Benchmarking – Sector vs Rail Transportation

  • Basis of Competition
    Internal competitionExternal competition
    Barriers to Entry
  • Table: Barrier to Entry Checklist for the Rail Transportation Industry

  • Industry Globalization
    Major Companies
    Union Pacific CorporationBurlington Northern Santa Fe CorporationCSX CorporationNorfolk Southern Corporation
  • Table: Union Pacific Corporation - financial performance
  • Table: Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation - financial performance
  • Table: CSX Corporation - financial performance
  • Table: Norfolk Southern Corporation - financial performance

  • Operating Conditions
    Capital Intensity
  • Chart: Level of Capital Intensity for the Rail Transportation Industry
  • Chart: Tools of the Trade: Growth Strategies for Success

  • Technology & Systems
    Revenue Volatility
  • Chart: Volatility vs Industry Growth

  • Regulation & Policy
    Industry Assistance
    Key Statistics
    Table: Industry Data for the Rail Transportation Industry
  • Industry Revenue (2007-2021)
  • Industry Gross Product (2007-2021)
  • Establishments (2007-2021)
  • Businesses (2007-2021)
  • Employment (2007-2021)
  • Wages (2007-2021)
  • Total trade value (2007-2021)

  • Table: Annual Percentage Change for Key Industry Data
    Table: Key Ratios for Industry Key Data
    Table: Industry Financial Ratios
    Jargon & Glossary
    Bulk Freight
  • Unpackaged commodity cargo (liquid or dry) transported in large quantities.
  • Class 1 Railroad
  • A railroad with annual operating revenue of $378.8 million or more.
  • Fuel Surcharge
  • An additional charge issued by transportation operators to cover the increased cost of fuel. It is charged in addition to the freight rate.
  • Intermodal Transport
  • The transportation of containerized goods that can roll on and off rail and ship carriers straight onto the road.
  • Line-Haul Railroad
  • A railroad that transports passengers or cargo over a long distance within a rail network.
  • Rolling Stock
  • All vehicles that move on a railway.
  • Why buy this report?

    IBISWorld industry market research reports enable you to:
    • Find out about key industry trends
    • Identify threats and opportunities
    • Inform your decisions for marketing, strategy and planning
    • Quickly build competitive intelligence
    This report on Rail Transportation:
    • Provides Market Size information to assist with planning and strategic decisions.
    • Includes the necessary information to perform SWOT, PEST and STEER analysis.
    • Helps you understand market dynamics to give you a deeper understanding of industry competition and the supply chain.
    • Analyses key performance and operational metrics so that you can benchmark against your own business, that of your customers’ businesses, or your competitors’ businesses.
    The Rail Transportation market research report includes:
    • Historical data and analysis for the key drivers of this industry
    • A five-year forecast of the market and noted trends
    • Detailed research and segmentation for the main products and markets
    • An assessment of the competitive landscape and market shares for major companies
    • And of course, much more

    IBISWorld reports on thousands of industries around the world. Our clients rely on our information and data to stay up-to-date on industry trends across all industries. With this IBISWorld Industry Research Report on Rail Transportation, you can expect thoroughly researched, reliable and current information that will help you to make faster, better business decisions.

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