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    Rail Shippers and Carriers

    Creating win-win partnerships to drive the triple effect of cost, cash and growth

Challenging times ahead for rail

  • The global rail freight market is expected to decline from $97.3 billion in 2019 to $94.9 billion in 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -2.5% as a result of the pandemic and subsequent collapse in global trade
  • In June 2020, US rail freight traffic was down 22.4 percent compared against the same period of 2019
  • European rail freight transport operators reporting declines of between 20% and 35%

How can rail carriers and shippers respond ?

In our digital age, the rail freight industry must innovate to transform its supply chain and operations to become more streamlined, efficient and environmentally friendly.

Post-lockdown, as we move into the recovery and rebalancing phases, demand for freight transport may continue to be lower than before the pandemic, and there may be permanent changes in how, when and where some goods are produced and shipped. Whatever the future of rail looks like, when the world’s economy begins to recover (whether that recovery is fast or slow) the industry needs to be ready to step up.

There are four fundamental things carriers and shippers should do:

  1. It’s imperative that shipper and carrier executives start driving collaboration and improving relationships. The objective is to create win-win partnerships that address the pressures and demands of both parties
  2. Shippers and carriers must harness the actionable insights provided by data analytics to gain complete visibility across the plan-buy-make-move-fulfill supply chain
  3. Railroads and shippers need to evaluate their current supply chain to eliminate bottlenecks, enhance throughput and optimize the size of shipments. The goal is to improve cost, cash, growth and share price performance
  4. These partnerships and improvement programs have to be put into practice across the carrier’s organization. This involves driving enhancements, change and collaboration right across the end-to-end supply chain from the client’s client, to the shipper, through to the carrier and its supply base

We can help

Maine Pointe’s accelerated stabilize-recover-rebalance roadmap and Total Value Optimization (TVO)™ methodology will help safeguard your supply chain and operations and better prepare your business for future disruptions.

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Depth of experience and expertise

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What we do

Maine Pointe’s team of rail specialists have a wealth of experience working offsite and onsite to help clients transport their products by rail while delivering significant growth and profitability improvements to their bottom line.

We’ve worked on major initiatives to enable clients to transform their rail and over all transportation capabilities, orchestrating game-changing partnerships at the CEO-to-CEO level that have produced far better results than the industry has traditionally achieved.

 Maine Pointe helps companies: 

  • Overcome the challenges posed by a congested rail network
  • Gain full control in transporting products to market
  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their rail logistics operations
  • Optimize their rail logistics approach to top quartile for performance
  • Achieve stronger, more strategic relationships with their railroad carriers
  • Obtain greater reliability (minimal disruptions)
  • Lower costs
  • Gain easier and more direct route utilization
  • Obtain intermodal optimization
  • Increase optionality

What Maine Pointe Achieves

Engagement Overview

Driving logistics, plant and procurement optimization for a global nylon manufacturer.(CS151)

What we did

  • Worked with the manufacturer and its rail, road and ocean carriers
  • Reconfigured the distribution network 
  • Build strong, collaborative relationships between shipper and carriers


  • Reduced working capital by $30M annually
  • Improved transit times from 7-12 days to less than 24 hours
  • Enabled the manufacturer to grow from $1.8Bn to $4Bn within two years
  • Carriers benefited from 80% growth in volumes and 22% margin enhancement

Engagement Overview

Integrated supply chain management and optimized velocity for the world’s largest phosphate and potash producer. (CS134)

What we did

  • Redesigned rail service across the client’s network
  • Led the effort to gain carrier buy-in for the new network
  • Coordinated and facilitated network modeling efforts


  • Network-wide redesign of rail service
  • Reduced average cycle time by around 50%
  • Annualized savings in excess of $15M
  • Increased rail fleet utilization, enhanced ability to profitably serve N American market
  • Increased velocity through N American network

Engagement overview

Improved rail logistics capacity and capability to increase fleet velocity at a midstream gas processing facility.

What we did

  • Approached the rail carrier in a spirit of partnership and negotiated a quid pro quo arrangement
  • Designed and implemented daily/weekly operating reports to identify operational issues 
  • Installed management tools to streamline work processes and increase human resource utilization 
  • Facilitated visibility around the total cost of the logistics operation


  • 50% reduction in yard dwell time for outbound loads at the Class 1 railyard
  • 43% increase in potential weekly takeaway capacity
  • 67% reduction in railcar yard dwell
  • 18% decrease in empty transit miles

Client testimonials 

Maine Pointe has been instrumental in helping guide us with our long-term transportation and distribution strategy. With a tremendous team possessing expertise in many disciplines, they were able to communicate knowledge, and effectively transfer it, to our people. We have been extremely pleased with their performance.”

G David Delaney, EVP & COO, Potash Corp