RSI Blog

What’s happening at RSI Logistics & the latest industry news

Get new posts delivered to your inbox!



Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Faceoff for the Kansas City Southern

(updated May 24th, 2021) Tuesday, April 20th the Canadian National (CN) offered to acquire the Kansas City Southern (KCS) for $33.7 billion, setting the stage for both of Canada’s class I carriers to faceoff for the KCS. Merger Plans One month ago, the CP announced merger plans with the KCS that stipulated that CP acquire […]

6 Tips for Maintaining Food Safety in Rail Transit

Rail is a reliable shipping mode for many different types of materials, including food. Maintaining food safety during this process is essential. Knowing what to look out for and what to expect can help new food shippers maintain food safety and the quality of their products. 6 Tips for Maintaining Food Safety in Rail Transit […]

CSXT Transportation & Quality Carriers Strike a Deal: What Shippers Need to Know

CSX Corporation announced Wednesday May 12th, that it has signed an agreement with Quality Distribution to acquire bulk liquid chemicals transportation provider Quality Carriers Inc. (QC). No terms of the agreement were released. Headquartered in Tampa, FL, QC operates the largest liquid bulk chemical trucking network in North America. QC’s network of company terminals, independent […]

What is Rail Fuel Surcharge and Why is it Important?

What is Rail Fuel Surcharge? Simply put, Fuel Surcharge is a tool that was designed for railroads to recover the cost of fuel consumed to move railcars. Fuel Surcharge came about when the cost of fuel increased, and the railroads decided to pass the excess cost onto shippers. The railroads will apply Fuel Surcharge on […]

Canadian Pacific & Kansas City Southern Announce Merger Plans

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS) announced that both Class I carriers have entered into an agreement to merge. The initial conditions of the merger stipulates that the CP will acquire KCS stock amounting to $29 billion and will assume the KCS’s outstanding debt estimated to be approximately $3.8 billion. As […]

Railroad Cost Indexes Explained

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the Surface Transportation Board (STB) calculate several indexes to measure inflation, cost increases, and productivity across rail lines. These indexes can be used to measure the health and status of the rail industry.  Some rail contract rates are subject to a railroad cost index, and many contracts state […]

Rail Industry Update

As the year 2020 was winding down, we were all quick to look ahead to 2021. Though 2020 had been a trying year, what can we now expect as we move forward?  2020 may have left us with more questions than answers. While we can begin to see the beginning of the end of the […]

Winter Safety – Preparing Your Rail Served Facility

Inclement weather will likely challenge all rail customers at some point. With winter weather fast approaching, your rail-served facilities should take measures to prepare for freezing temperatures, sleet, snow, and ice that winter storms will bring. A winter preparedness plan including snow and ice removal will be required throughout the winter season, and is crucial […]

What’s New in OT-57? Everything You Need to Know

As you may know, the Railinc OT-5 application process has been dismantled and replaced with a new, simpler process, OT-57.  The main difference is that there is no longer an approval process. Railroads will not reject applications due to storage limitations or mechanical specification issues in UMLER.  As long as your railcar is on an […]

Rule 11 Railroad Rates Benefit Shippers

Are the railroads telling you they want Through Rates converted to Rule 11? If so, that’s a good thing. Rule 11 railroad rates can give you better pricing visibility and transparency across your routes. With the right information, preparation, and negotiating strategy, you may be able to reduce your rail spend overall. Here’s how. What […]

5 Tips for Effectively Negotiating Rail Freight Rates

Understanding how the railroads price your commodity is a starting point for determining your ability to negotiate rail freight rates. Railroad pricing has been cyclical over the years, fluctuating between public tariffs and private contracts. With the use of differential pricing, the railroads may provide different rates to different shippers in similar lanes. Regardless of […]

10 Rail Logistics Cost Reduction Strategies

Reducing logistics spending can be an uphill battle, especially in the railroad industry. Many areas are served by a small number of carriers, or even just a single carrier. Rail logistics cost reduction strategies become even more challenging with limited negotiating power. However, there are ways to negotiate and reduce rail transportation costs. As you […]

NEARS 2020 Conference Recap

The North East Association of Rail Shippers (NEARS) hosted its annual fall conference remotely September 21, 2020 – Sep 25, 2020. The NEARS 2020 conference consisted of several attendees that represented rail shippers, suppliers, and carriers. This was the first virtual event held by NEARS and proved to be very successful. It was a week-long […]

Railroad Operating Ratio and How They Price

Railroads will tell you they “price to the market.” But whose market is it, yours or theirs? How many times have you questioned the reasonableness of a rate? How do you currently compare the rate for one lane to the rate in another? How Railroads Price Impacts Their Operating Ratio The railroads always strive to […]

Hurricane Update & Railroad Preparedness

Hurricanes cause more damage than any other type of weather catastrophe. These storms destroy homes and cities, as well as infrastructure. To survive a hurricane, and also to rebuild after the storm, hurricane preparedness for rail shippers is essential. The hurricane season of 2020 has already been intense, and will continue to bring more storms. […]