Despite a meltdown in the markets, transportation exchange traded funds (ETFs) seem to have been a safer haven than most in the last six months and year.

The Dow Jones Transportation Index (IYT) has proven smooth running: in the last year, it’s up 3.5% and in the last six months, it’s up 7.4%. Much of the performance is thanks to U.S.-based railroads, which account for more than 30% of the holdings in the fund.

More impressive, IYT has managed to register small gains while financials saw steep losses and overall markets dragged. Mike Havrilla for MikeHav Market Blog says that amid the increasing interest in this sector, several new products focused on this area have either recently launched or are in registration, including:

  • Claymore Delta/Global Shipping (SEA), launched on Aug. 25
  • PowerShares Global Progressive Transportation Portfolio (PTRP), launched Sept. 18
  • SPDR Transportation, in registration

The fact that oil has, until recent days, retreated off its high reached earlier this year should help the shipping industry. If the dollar weakens further, it could help keep exports firm, as it makes our goods cheaper for those overseas.

On Thursday, oil closed at $97.88 a barrel after a volatile day. Earlier in the session, it had gone as high as $102.24. Wednesday, oil rose by $6.01 for the second largest one-day jump on record, reports Catherine Clifford for CNN Money.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.