WHERE HAVE ALL THE RAILCARS GONE?
The current boxcar shortage is now reaching the intensity of the 1966 crisis, the worst in history. The problem is particularly acute in the West, but is is also being felt throughout the South. It is aggravating the wood products price-supply spiral that was already in effect. The cause is plain: not enough boxcars to go around in a booming economy. The large movement of Russian Grain is the most immediate reason for the car shortage, but the roots of the problem go much deeper. Boxcar ownership has declined from 720,000 cars in 1956 to 550,000 today. Improved carrying capacity and improved railroad performance cannot keep up with the demand, though, because the GNP continues to increase. The plywood industry depends too much on railroad transportation, and alternatives must be sought. Broader utilization of water and motor carrier transportation should be sought, although this will involve extra loading costs. Repeal of the Jones Act would permit intercoastal water transportation of plywood in low rated foreign vessels. The plywood industry itself can help, positive measures include: order only the cars actually needed, load and unload cars quickly as possible, route shipments over the most direct route. Long term relief measures include a bill to be introduced to create a Government Load Fund for rolling stock purcheses, and a solution to the Northeastern railroad problem.
American Plywood Association1119 A Street
Tacoma, WA United States 98401
- Publication Date: 1973-3-13
- Features: Photos;
- Pagination: 4 p.
- TRT Terms: Car shortages (Railroads); Car supply (Railroads); Car utilization (Railroads); Wood products
- Old TRIS Terms: Car shortage; Car supply; Plywood traffic
- Subject Areas: Freight Transportation; Railroads;
- Accession Number: 00043537
- Record Type: Publication
- Source Agency: American Plywood Association
- Report/Paper Numbers: Spec Rpt
- Files: TRIS
- Created Date: May 23 1973 12:00AM