Demand for Railcar Leasing across the World is Poised to Increase by 2032 End


Advent of sensor-integrated railcars with access to a series of advanced tracking and real-time monitoring services has been the prime reason advancing the demand for railcar leasing. These services are being integrated into bundled service offerings by key railcar lessors.

Asia Pacific has had the bulk of railway cars leased in recent years. This is due to increased urbanization and growing transportation of industrial goods within the emerging Asia Pacific economy. In the transportation of goods, both, leased railcars and railroads play a major role.

Further, elevating cargo size and volume has pushed rail freight transportation usage, and more specifically, railcar leasing. This not only provides safe movement of kilo-tons of volume but also provides a way to reliably track real-time data of the leased railcars via integrated sensors and tracking platforms in place for the same.


On the back of these factors, railcar leasing is anticipated to surpass US$ 14.2 Bn in 2020, and the market is poised to expand at a CAGR of more than 9% through 2030.

Key Takeaways from Study

  • The railcar leasing market is anticipated to add 2.4X value in 2030 as compared to 2020.
  • Boxcars capture a major share, equivalent to the one-fourth of the global railcar leasing market, and are set to create US$ 6.4 Bn opportunity over the next ten years
  • Among the end-use markets, automotive & components movement has been the fastest-growing segment, owing to rise in the automotive industry in the past decade; it is expected to remain the highest-growing segment in the end-use category.
  • Asia Pacific is set to dominate market revenue in 2021, and is expected to gain 497 BPS in its market share by 2030 over 2020.
  • The industrial goods segment is anticipated to gain around 212 BPS over the forecast period of 2020-2030.
  • The petrochemicals & gas end-use segment is anticipated to lose around 331 BPS by 2030.
  • The market in the U.S. is projected to expand at a CAGR of over 9%, while that in China and India at around 12% and 13%, respectively, through 2030.
  • Due to the COVID-19 crisis, demand for railcar leasing was hit in 2020, which saw growth at -1.7%. The year 2021 is expected to witness growth of over 5%.

“Integration of GPS modules and real-time temperature sensors, along with smart connected solutions, will facilitate growth opportunities for railcar lessors during the forecast period,” says a Fact.MR analyst.

Why is Railcar Leasing Beneficial in the Long Run?

The most important factor for a shipper leasing its own railcars is greater control of the supply chain. Further, shippers are not subject to supply and demand difficulties of other users of the same railway type in case of railcar leasing.

Shippers manage transport capacity directly through the relation between their car fleet and production lines. Furthermore, demurrage costs are reduced to a greater extent when the lessor and asset management agency properly maintain a record of the leasing timeline and manage the railcars efficiently.

Moreover, private railcars sometimes act as storage units when the receiver is unable to handle delivery or facilitate the timely unloading of goods. However, it must be noted that, railcar leasing is a relatively long-term commitment, and is subjected to various regulations (generally extended for 30 years or more).

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