IntelliTrans Helps Freight Rail Service Providers Improve Rail Operations

IntelliTrans said that the recent service disruptions of Class 1 railroads has led to revenue losses and additional freight expenses for shippers.

“Today, because of precision scheduled railroading (PSR) and the focus on improving Operating Ratio, railroads are struggling to handle increased volume as well as network disruptions,” said Ken Sherman, president of IntelliTrans. “Many in the rail business blame the pandemic and staff reductions, but in the five years before the pandemic, rail providers reduced their operational staffing by 25% to 43%. The results have been very impactful. The railroads have cut so much from their operating budgets via labor reductions and idling locomotives that the industry has reached critical service challenges.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told the Surface Transportation Board (STB), “There is no single step available to deliver ideal freight rail service overnight. The federal infrastructure law enacted last year is a historic opportunity to transform both freight and passenger rail for the better.”

However, the answers to the problems are just as complex as the problems. The STB wants to require Class 1 railroads to submit rail-service improvement plans that include the headcount needed and anticipated recovery timelines.

“Shippers can’t offload significant portions of their rail transport shipments to the trucking industry because the volumes are just staggering,” said Brian Cupp, director of operations, IntelliTrans. “Plus, roads would become too clogged, trucks are less environmentally friendly, and securing truck capacity in the current tight market can be more expensive.”

Technology can help solve issues in the rail industry by automating transportation operations, including visibility into transportation management and managed transportation services to augment the workforce. For one customer, IntelliTrans was able to reduce the rail fleet size by 5%, despite increased sales; key customer inventory was reduced by 50%; and an issue where an average of 90 misrouted or lost railcars/month was resolved.

IntelliTrans offers freight management, strategic planning, tactical execution, in-transit tracking, freight invoice auditing and payment, advanced analytics, transportation management, yard management, reporting, and supply chain visibility backed by a team of experts who work with customers to help their businesses work smarter, faster, and better. Interactive dashboards make large amounts of data easy to understand.


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