RR Car Builders Exceeded Average with 2019 Deliveries

Railroad car builders exceeded the 10-year average last year in delivering new rail cars.

The American Railway Car Institute of the Railway Supply Institute said builders delivered 58,026 cars, which exceeded the 10-year average of 50,524.

ARCI said during the fourth quarter of 2019 deliveries of 14,727 units beat deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2018 (13,462), as well as those posted in the third quarter of 2019 (14,571).

However, orders for calendar year 2019 were 37,196 units, about half of the reported orders made in 2018.

In a news release, ARCI said new car orders in the fourth quarter totaled 8,464 units, showing “continued weakness” but still slightly better than the 7,315 units ordered in the third quarter of 2019.

The fourth quarter 2019 orders were less than half of those at the end of 2018.

The year-end rail-car backlog at the end of 2019 was 51,295 units, down 36 percent from 2018’s level.

“Builder backlogs are across all major car types with the majority of the backlog in tank cars, followed by covered hoppers,” ARCI officials said.

“Builders are seeing a shift out of the smaller cube covered hoppers into the midsize covered hopper and continued demand for larger non-pressure tank cars.”

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