Rail Industry Filing Buzz: Robotics Mentions Drop 11% in Q4 2021

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Mentions of robotics in rail industry company filings fell 11% between the third and fourth quarters of 2021.

In total, the frequency of robotics-related convictions in 2021 was 167% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from which our data comes from for this article, began tracking the top issues mentioned in company filings.

When railway companies publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other documents, GlobalData analyzes the text and identifies individual phrases related to the disruptive forces companies will face in the years to come. Robotics is one such topic – companies that excel and invest in these areas are seen as better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to overcome unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether robotics is more present in the summaries and strategies of companies in the railway sector, two measures were calculated. First, we looked at the percentage of companies that mentioned robotics at least once in their filings over the last twelve months – it was 25% compared to 11% in 2016. Second, we calculated the percentage of total analyzed sentences referring to robotics.

Among the rail industry’s 10 largest employers, Yamato is the company that referred to robotics the most in 2021. GlobalData identified four robotics-related phrases in filings by the Japan-based company – 0.2% of all sentences. FedEx mentioned robotics in second place – the issue was mentioned in 0.02% of sentences in the company’s filings.

Of all companies in the rail industry, the fourth quarter 2021 release that placed the most emphasis on robotics came from Japan Airlines. Of the 1,071 sentences in the document, 10 (0.9%) referred to robotics.

This analysis provides a rough indication of which companies are focusing on robotics and how important the issue is in the rail industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted with caution. For example, a company that mentions robotics more regularly is not necessarily evidence that it is using new techniques or prioritizing the problem, nor does it indicate whether the company’s businesses in the field of robotics have been successes or failures.

Last quarter, railway companies based in Asia were the most likely to mention robotics with 0.06% of sentences in company filings referencing the issue. In contrast, companies headquartered in Canada mentioned robotics in just 0.01% of sentences.

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