Afternoon Coffee: Air Shipments Soar at O’Hare, Railroads Carry Fewer Carloads of Commodities in July

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport saw air shipments increase 20% during the first 6 months of 2015, as companies opted for air freight to avoid the delays at West Coast ports. The surge in shipments, however, has created logistical problems at the airport.

There were fewer trains carrying commodities like petroleum products, coal and metals in the US during July, with carload traffic for the products falling 13.6% compared to July 2013, the Association of American Railroads recently reported.

The majority of US railroads will not meet the federal deadline for installing new train safety technology by Dec. 31, 2015, new reports show. Just 3 out of 38 passenger, commuter and freight railroads have so far submitted their plans detailing how they will install these safety systems.

While there have been a number of freight train derailments in recent months, overall, accidents have been declining in recent years, new Federal Railroad Administration data shows. In 2014 there were 1,202 freight derailments across the US, which is down nearly 50% from the 2,350 in 2004.


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