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Optimizing Rail Logistics in the Alabama Corridor

As demand for rail freight intensifies, rail logistics along the Alabama corridor are becoming ever more congested, with forecasts indicating that freight volume will continue to increase. The challenges this creates are causing pain to all major shippers using the corridor threatening both growth and capability. As many of the shippers are already aware, improved collaboration with Norfolk Southern (NS) is the key to beating the congestion challenge. Working together, shippers and NS can find the answers to some critical questions:

  • How to create a win-win relationship in terms of lower costs?
  • How to improve operational reliability for both parties?
  • How to decrease network congestion for the railroad?
  • Unraveling the knot restricting rail network fluidity

Cognizant of the significant impact which congestion is having on performance capabilities, companies are taking a fresh look at their working relationships with NS and considering how they can cooperate better to gain more control of their operations, lower costs and improve time-to-market. This can only be accomplished if common goals are aligned and if the C-suite fully understand the level of mutual benefits that can be achieved. So what steps can companies take towards achieving more effective cooperation with NS?

Overcoming the congestion challenge

To help build stronger, more strategic relationships with NS, shippers should consider enlisting the support of seasoned rail logistics specialists who understand the dynamics of both companies. An example of the benefits this can deliver to both parties is the work we did with a prominent chemical company which was using the Alabama corridor. We leveraged our long-standing relationship with NS to build preferred blocks of cars, lower switching costs, improve private and siding track utilization and increase railcar velocity. The net effect improved operational reliability for the chemical company through empty car availability and decreased network congestion for the railroad. Want to know more?

Where do you go from here?

More than 100 shippers nationwide have already taken advantage of Maine Pointe's unique capabilities to optimize their rail logistics across the increasingly congested North American rail network. The valuable lessons we learned through our work with Norfolk-Southern railroad and the Alabama Gulf Coast sector can be leveraged to the advantage of all other major shippers using the corridor.

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