For most of us, rising fuel prices have us wanting to pull our hair out -- or at minimum shake a disdainful fist at that passing Chevron station for having the audacity to price their regular unleaded gas more than $4 per gallon. No matter where you look, fuel prices are on the rise, and the transportation sector is feeling the effects.
Airline company AMR
After hearing all that, it might appear that the transportation sector is the worst possible place you could put your money with oil prices rising -- but you'd be wrong. The one key component to the transport sector that appears to be the absolute best play on rising fuel costs is railroad companies.
Railroad companies use far less fuel than a standard diesel truck, and technological advances have allowed them to become significantly more fuel efficient than they were even a decade ago. They have also invested heavily into their own infrastructure to make those cost savings extend even further. Total carloads increased 7.3% in 2010, and through the first two months of 2011, they're showing a more than 5.1% increase. These levels are nowhere near where they were in 2008, but that only means there's still plenty of opportunity for growth.
Keep on railin'
For investors looking for a higher-risk growth play, they may want to take a closer look at Genesee & Wyoming
Finally, don't neglect the outlying companies that make railroad transportation possible. American Railcar Industries
Do you have a strategy to battle rising fuel prices? Share your thoughts below and consider tracking these stocks and your own personalized portfolio of stocks with the free and easy-to-use My Watchlist.