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The Closer Look Series combines AllTranstek’s rail equipment intelligence with FTR’s dynamic forecasting model and analysis in a collaborative methodology to produce the industry’s most thorough and comprehensive rail equipment forecast and report.

Learn how the Box Car fleet demographics are changing with limited new investment, and learn where new investment is expected to take place for the future.



Closer Look: Box Car Sample Report



About the Closer Look: Box Car

Box Cars are a versatile, enclosed car type used to ship a variety of general freight products. Because of the Box Car broad purposed design, a large portion of this equipment is included in “railroad pools” which allow efficient shipping by preventing empty haul movements, a luxury not realized by the more specialized railcar types. The freight traffic base for the Box Car fleet is closely tied to the general economy, as much of the commodity base is related to consumer spending and housing markets.
However, the significant cost of building new Box Car equipment, combined with modally competitive shipping options, has caused this fleet to struggle since the 1980s. Despite modal shift, some industries are still heavily reliant on the Box Car to serve their shipping needs, especially shippers of paper products. 
The Closer Look reports are updated annually using the latest available data from FTR, AllTranstek and a variety of industry sources.

Closer Look: Box Cars Report Contains:

  • A detailed fleet analysis by AllTranstek’s unique car type segmentation scheme, dividing the Box Car fleet into 10 diverse sub-segments
  • Current fleet sizes for each sub-segment
  • Pictures and illustrations of select car types, unique components, and important commodities
  • Unique characteristics inherent to sub-segments
  • Snapshot of each fleet segment’s age profile allocated by 5- year buckets over a car’s 50-year life
  • Ownership mix profiles across railroads, shippers, and leasing companies
  • Historic deliveries, retirements, and utilization
  • Forecasts and projections by fleet segment: new car deliveries and retirements
  • Current and historic traffic activity across car types
  • Traffic shares, commodity drivers, and industry drivers
  • AllTranstek’s unique Car Demand Pressure Index, illustrating the relationship between fleet size and shipping activity since 2007
  • Fleet ownership mix, age profile, retirement trends, and new equipment delivery forecast for the fleet as a whole 

Why you need the Closer Look Series

True to its name, the Closer Look Series scrutinizes the current railcar market with respect to freight transportation across all car types in order to provide the most advanced analytics available in the rail industry. With a wealth of institutional knowledge and data, FTR and AllTranstek combine our efforts and industry expertise to provide the most complete annual update on trends in the North American Railcar Fleet.

The Closer Look Series is comprised of six individual reports covering each of the six major car types: Covered Hoppers, Tank Cars, Gondolas, Open Top Hoppers, Box Cars, and Flat Cars.

These reports provide invaluable information and insight for longstanding rail equipment industry participants, as well and new entrants to the industry, including fleet owners, leasing companies, new car builders, component suppliers, service providers, financial institutions, investors, rail carriers and shippers.

Each Closer Look Report Contains

  • An in depth analysis on one of the six major car types:  Covered Hoppers, Tank Cars, Gondolas, Open Top Hoppers, Box Cars, and Flat Cars.
  • An executive summary that highlights the important take-away’s of the report
  • A market overview detailing the industries and commodity traffic bases that each fleet relies on, as well as analysis focusing on the fleet sub-segments.
  • A detailed fleet overview and analysis by car type segment for each major fleet, including such important factors as fleet size, age profile, ownership mix profiles, traffic base mix, unique car characteristics, historic deliveries, retirements, and fleet utilization
  • Forecasts and projections by fleet segment of fleet demand growth, new car deliveries, retirements
  • Comprehensive fleet ownership profiles by car type segment, including historical ownership shares and trends.
  • The effects of the freight transportation market on historical and current trends for fleet utilization and equipment surpluses.
  • Thorough age profiles for each fleet and its segments, discussing the cumulative effects of retirements, new car orders, and deliveries on the overall age and production backlog of the fleet, as well as forecasted changes in each of these areas.
  • The Closer Look reports are updated annually using the latest available data from FTR, AllTranstek and a variety of industry sources.

NOTE: Save $300 off of each additional report you purchase in the Closer Look Series. Please contact Derek Young at or (888) 988.1699, ext. 66 to obtain a promotion code for ordering.

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