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10/28/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Greenbrier builds car-order backlog during the third quarter


Since May 31, The Greenbrier Cos.' rail-car order backlog has been growing, spurred by third-quarter orders for 4,300 cars valued at $230 million.


On Aug. 31, the car builder's backlog reached 5,200 cars valued at $280 million — more than doubling the company's May 31 backlog of 2,500 cars valued at $135 million, according to a prepared statement.


And Sept. 30, Greenbrier's order backlog hit a two-year high at 5,500 cars valued at $305 million.


The car builder received 54 percent of North American firms' third-quarter orders for 10,135 units, which exceeded the 9,610 units ordered during the year's first six months. Greenbrier also accounted for 58 percent of the quarter's 14,491-car backlog, which more than doubled in North America compared with third-quarter 2001.


Car orders are rebounding because railroads are increasing traffic, especially intermodal double-stack moves, said Greenbrier President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Furman, adding that the company has controlled 60 percent of the intermodal-car market during the past decade.


Since May 31, TTX Co. has ordered 2,400 intermodal platforms and 500 box cars, and Canadian Pacific Railway, Canfor Corp. and other Canadian companies ordered 800 of Greenbrier's redesigned drop-deck center-partition cars, which offer 14 percent more load capacity compared with other lumber-carrying cars.


In Europe, Greenbrier increased its backlog to more than 1,000 cars by Sept. 30. And the company recently received final European certification for its rolling highway (Rola) car, which is designed to carry highway tractor and trailer units.


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