Christmas is just 116 days away and Christmas traffic is heavy — on the nation’s railroads. Union Pacific president and C-O-O Ike Evans says toys, electronics and clothing from factories and ports are headed to the distribution centers set up by American retailers. Evans says the orders have been placed, the manufacturers have made the products, the ships are full, and it’s now the job of his railroad and others to get the goods in place for the holiday season. The volume of Christmas traffic on Union Pacific rails is huge. Evans says beginning in late August, U-P hauls between 10- and 12-thousand containers a day, and each container hauls a load equivalent to an 18-wheel truck. “Santa’s elves” on the U-P are hauling a wide range of goods. Evans says the railroad’s shipping toys, computers, clothes, decorations, and wrapping paper. In November, the U-P begins shipping freshly-cut Christmas trees. Since shipping orders have already been placed, Evans has an idea of what retailers think the 2003 holiday season will be like. Evans says retailers are anticipating it’ll be a “good” holiday sales season.
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