Trains, Planes and Trucks oh my!

April 9th, 2013

How are you shipping your products today?

Today’s post is by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing.

Oh well I tried, my title is almost like the title of the movie of a similar title, but in our case automobiles don’t provide much help. The question however is a good one and unfortunately many companies are not exploring what may be the least expensive alternative today. And that would be (Your guess was wrong) TRAINS. Surprised?

Companies that are looking to optimize their shipping lanes or even their entire logistics structure face significant hurdles.  Selecting the correct business partner  or partners is a huge challenge,   as vetting them includes so many different items that can include items like Track & Trace capability, shipment visibility, driver turnover, certifications, fuel surcharges and much much more. But don’t forget to take a hard look at Trains.

The price of shipping your freight by rail is relatively inexpensive and the volume of freight being shipped this way is projected to grow by half to $27.5B by 2040 according to an article in the March 27th issue of the Wall Street Journal titled Boom Times on the Tracks: Rail Capacity, Spending Soar.

This may be a surprise to many as most procurement professional tend to think of rail as old school. Well, while you may have been looking the other way, technology has been upgraded, infrastructure has been upgraded and total tonnage has increased across a broad number of categories.

Who are the major players in this space?  The names may be familiar. Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Kansas City Southern to name a few.

If you like to learn more about how to optimize your shipping needs, please contact a Safesourcing customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

 

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