RSI Blog

Recap of Midwest Association of Rail Shippers Summer Meeting

Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) was the main topic of discussion at the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) summer meeting in July. The schedule allowed attendees the opportunity to hear about PSR from three distinct perspectives. Class I railroads, short line railroads, and shippers. The following is a quick recap: Norfolk Southern’s Chairman, President and […]

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 […]

Genesee & Wyoming Exploring Strategic Options

Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (NYSE: GWR), the global rail short line holding company that owns or maintains an interest in 120 railroads throughout six countries is investigating options to strategically sell all or portions of its worldwide operation. During GWR’s Q1-2019 earnings report on April 30th, the GWR announced that while rail volumes were down […]

Railroad Demurrage – STB Hearing on May 22-23

It’s no secret that railroad demurrage charges and private car storage charges have become a big expense for many rail shippers and receivers. We have to admit it’s not all bad — it has increased demand for RSI’s railcar tracking system and services because shippers need to more closely plan, monitor, and control their railcar […]

Union Pacific Seeking to Eliminate the Provision for Moving Tank Cars Under Mileage Allowance

In their relentless pursuit to push more of the cost of operating railcars on to shippers, the UP has requested the STB to “terminate our obligation to comply with the mileage equalization provisions of the National Tank Car Allowance Agreement adopted by the Interstate Commerce Commission in Investigation of Tank Car Allowance System (“System – […]

2018 Quarterly Demurrage by Railroad

Rising Demurrage Rates Prompts STB to Schedule Hearing

On a daily basis we speak with shippers that are looking for ways to improve their rail transportation. The most common concern that has been coming up lately is demurrage. It’s shocking how many companies are getting monthly rail demurrage bills in the high five figures or even in excess of $100k. It is just […]

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. […]