Title

LONG-TERM AVAILABILITY OF RAILROAD SERVICES FOR U.S. AGRICULTURE

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2002

Subject Area

planning - marketing/promotion, ridership - demand, mode - rail

Keywords

United States, Trend (Statistics), Transportation policy, Short line railroads, Rates, Railroad transportation, Rail transportation, Marketing, Investments, Investment requirements, Industry structure, Industrial organization, Heavy axle cars, Grain, Freight transportation, Expert opinion, Demand, Container utilization, Consolidations, Agricultural products

Abstract

Future customer demands, service availability, and industry investment decisions will shape the modal marketing decisions of the grain-marketing sector. The Delphi technique is used to survey a cross section of grain-industry experts regarding future trends for the grain-marketing sector. The survey produces several interesting expectations, including further consolidation of the rail and elevator industries, increasing prominence of the heavy-axle cars in grain service, the upward trend in rail rates, increased use of market-based car-ordering systems and shuttles, expansion of the short-line rail network, and small market-scale, but large-volume, increases in the share of grain marketed via container. The insights are valuable in understanding the future of the rail grain industry. These expert opinions are important to identify research needs and discuss implications of government policy and market investment that affect the rail grain sector.