RSI Blog

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

2022 State of Railcar Repair Shops

Whether you own or lease railcars, eventually your railcars will need to be sent to a shop for cleaning, repairs, or qualification. Taking one railcar out of service can be painful, especially if the railcar is unusable for months at a time. Unfortunately, most shippers do not have a fleet large enough to fill the

Surface Transportation Board and the Union Pacific’s Use of Embargoes

The Surface and Transportation Board (STB) has scheduled a meeting for December 13th and 14th, 2022, to review the Union Pacific’s (UP) “substantial” use of embargoes to reduce rail congestion. At the hearing, Union Pacific will be represented by key management including their CEO, Lance Fritz. Recent Updates on the STB Embargo Meeting As a

7 Rail Shipping Insights to Pay Attention to

As with any industry, data and the knowledge that comes from data is important. Whether the insights you can find are helpful to you directly, as someone involved in rail shipping, or indirectly, as someone looking for information on the transportation industry, that knowledge can come in handy. But with so much information out there,

How to Prepare for Winter as a Rail Shipper

Inclement weather will challenge all rail freight customers at some point. Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and other natural dangers all pose possible hurdles throughout the year; however, one natural challenge that you can count on almost every year is winter storms, snow, and freezing temperatures. If your organization has a facility that ships and receives railcars,

5 Places to Find Rail Industry Data and Insights

Good data helps you make informed decisions, measure your goals, find solutions to problems, and be strategic in your methods. Without data you’re relying on “gut feelings”, which can be affected by different experiences, assumptions, and abstract observations. Whether you’re planning out your rail supply chain and organization, working on a consultation project for a

What is Rail Shipping Demurrage and How to Dispute It

Railroad demurrage is a charge that compensates the rail carriers when railcars are held in the carriers serving yard waiting to be ordered in for placement. This a charge that rail shippers try to avoid, as it’s a fee that compounds on top of the loss of revenue by a railcar just sitting and not

How to Ship by Rail for Beginners

This year we have seen an increase in businesses interested in exploring the potential of becoming a rail shipper. As the trucking industry continues to deal with driver shortages and high costs, many companies are starting to consider rail as an alternative to trucking. Rail is an excellent mode of transportation due to its advantages

How to Prepare Your Rail Supply Chain for Hurricanes

In August of 2021, Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans, a major rail shipping hub. The destructive weather and resulting flood waters forced a Class I railroad, the Kansas City Southern, to close a main line. This triggered a cascade of additional railroads seeing service disruptions as well, even if they were not near the hurricane.

What is an Embargo and How Can You Prepare for Them?

Have you ever been to the grocery store and noticed the check-out lines just keep growing longer and longer? Sometimes the cause is a customer ahead of you with a lot of items, sometimes there are only a few employees staffing check out stations, and sometimes it is just because there are so many people

What is Rail Fuel Surcharge and Why is it Important?

A topic on everyone’s mind recently is fuel. Fuel impacts all of us, whether in our daily commute or in the supply chains that deliver us our products. Thus, rising and falling fuel prices play an important role in our supply chains. Rail carriers utilize a rail fuel surcharge to help balance the fluctuations in

Rail Shipping Service and the Presidential Emergency Board

Ongoing Updates September 12th, 2022 More of the labor unions have agreed to tentative agreements with the railroads. However, the last two union holdouts also represent the most members. The deadline for the cooling off period, which restricts striking, is Friday, September 16th. If an agreement cannot be reached by Friday, the remaining unions without

Maintain Your Railcar Fleet and Overcome Challenges

At RSI Logistics, our experienced staff keep informed of industry news that can affect your rail shipping. Our Fleet Maintenance services team works hand-in-hand with railcar lessors and repair shops to get the most accurate and up-to-date industry news related to supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and shop performance. They ensure they are knowledgeable on

Celebrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Rail Industry

A common phrase that is growing in importance amongst organizations is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. But what does that mean? Diversity is the presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective. Equity is promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the

Intermodal vs Transloading and When to Use Each

Whether you are shipping over long or short distances, getting your products from one place to another often involves multiple modes of transportation. Using different modes of transportation allows you to traverse land and water, as well as lower transit costs. Intermodal shipping and transloading are two methods of shipping that may lower costs. Intermodal

Benefits of Right Sizing Your Fleet

If you own or lease your railcars, it is important to understand how many railcars you need. Having a grasp of your necessary fleet size helps to ensure that your product is delivered to your customers on time. Although many rail shippers may consider increasing the number of railcars in their fleet(s) to ensure that

When to Identify Alternative Rail Routes

Every time we get an opportunity, we assert that rail transportation can often help you reduce shipping costs substantially without disrupting your overall supply chain. However, it is not as easy as just transitioning to rail and picking the first rail lane that presents itself. There are situations when captive lanes create a lack of