Effective Rail Rate Negotiations

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 […]

Railcar Tracking Metrics for Shippers

Logistics managers are tasked with realizing more throughput from existing assets, and rationalizing private fleets and other fixed cost. As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Rail shippers require specific information to effectively manage their day-to-day shipping and for long term planning and decision-making. Small rail shippers usually start out manually creating reports […]

How Railroads Price

How Railroads Price

Railroads will tell you they “price to the market.” But, whose market is it, yours or theirs? The Revenue-to-Variable Cost Ratio (RVC) is an important metric for understanding how the railroads compare any given rate to another, and consequently how they price. The RVC is simply the rail rate divided by the railroad’s operating cost. […]

What is OT-5 and Why is it Important to Rail Fleet Management

OT-5 is something that you may have been hearing about lately. Loading Authority OT-5 is the AAR Circular for Rules Governing Assignment of Reporting Marks and Mechanical Designations. Although the circular has been around since 1989, it has recently become more of a challenge for shippers because the rail carriers are more strictly verifying and […]

Strategies to Reduce Demurrage

No one likes to pay demurrage and storage. For some shippers demurrage charges are merely a nuisance. For others, demurrage is a seven figure annual expense. Many of our clients have found it to be a cost that can be quickly reduced or eliminated with the proper focus and attention. This article offers a number […]

tracking the timeline of your railcar shipments

6 Factors that Affect the Effort Required to Proactively Manage Your Railcar Shipments

When tracking your railcars, there are several drivers that determine how complex your rail shipping is and how much time is needed to properly monitor your fleet and follow up on problem cars. Factors affecting the complexity of your railcar shipments 1. Railcar billing accuracy and timeliness Complete and accurate bill of lading submissions are […]