Paul Ruff, President

Supply Chain

All US rail traffic is up as happens anytime the economy grows, but interesting to note is that according to Rail-Time Indicators (“RTI”), a publication of the American Association of Railroads, Intermodal freight traffic was up 5.2% in 2014 YOY and set a new annual record.

Overall, RTI reports that in 2014 total carloads reached 15.2 million, the highest since 2008 but still 12.3% below the peak of 17.3 million reached in 2006. So despite the sporadic reports we hear of heavy energy traffic stretching rail capacity to its limits, it is clearly not the case.

Not unexpectedly based on our research on the shifting of supply chain dynamics in the US, the percentage of container shipments has continued to increase as a percentage of all intermodal traffic since 1990, while the percentage of trailers has continued to decrease.

Paul Ruff, President

Interested in investing in industrial real estate? Why?

If you answer is something along the lines of “good fundamentals,” then you’re probably chasing deals in the same 20 markets as everyone and their cat. This herd mentality is fine and there are certainly risk-related analyses to justify the approach, but the ability to deploy capital in those markets is becoming increasingly about how low you are willing to accept yields. The approach may also not be doing justice to the question as to why fundamentals are good in the first place. It’s not because of a bourgeoning US economy.

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