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container shipping

#BGInvestigates: Is Rail Transport Right on Track for your Business?

 

Rail Transport | Rail Freight Shipping | Intermodal Transportation
When it comes to transporting your heavy load, have you looked into all transportation modes?

The Shipper’s Key to Railroad Freight is Planning Ahead of Time Based on your Business Model.

When it comes to transporting your heavy load, have you looked into all transportation modes? The U.S. rail system is one of the largest contributors to our economic well-being, providing an efficient long haul transportation alternative. In 2009, following a historic $26 billion railroad investment, Warren Buffett was quoted saying

“Our country’s prosperity depends on its having an efficient and well-maintained rail system.”

With increasing diesel fuel prices and rising carbon emissions – The planet can’t afford for you to ignore the benefits of rail freight shipping!

Suppose that your business has freight going from Tampa to Los Angeles, about 2,500 miles. While road may take 4 ½ transit days, rail would take approximately 10 days. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “That’s a big transit difference!” We agree – but how fast could YOU travel with 100 tons on your back?! Not to mention the difference in environmental impact. Did you know that rail is the most energy efficient way to move your goods on land? In fact, rail uses on average 4x less energy than truck, reducing carbon emissions by 75%! The point is… If your business can plan ahead, then you can utilize rail to transport your goods and significantly reduce your supply chain costs and carbon footprint. Sounds like a pretty good deal, huh?

This issue of #BGInvestigates identifies a few questions to help you identify if rail is the ideal mode of transportation for your business.

  • What type of goods can be transported by rail? Coal is the most important commodity carried by rail, followed by other products such as chemicals, grains, farm products, non metallic minerals, waste and scrap.
  • Approximately how many tons can a rail car handle? While a truckload can handle about 43,000 lbs., a rail car can handle 100-110 tons.
  • How do you receive a freight rate for rail? Contact one of our Freight Experts via email or phone (800-697-4477) so that s/he can identify the rail lane options and select the best route for your freight.  This is a customizable process and it’s important to know all of your transportation options.
  • Is booking railroad freight difficult? Not at all! After receiving a competitive price to transport your goods, you can fill a container when time allows and schedule a truck to pick up your freight from your business location. From there, the driver will take it to the rail yard where your freight will be loaded and sent off by railroad to its drop off destination.

So what do you say? Does rail seem like the right track for your business? Contact one of our Intermodal experts today to analyze the advantages and cost savings potential to move your goods via rail. As we continue to research new methods that will save you money and the environment while improving efficiencies, we’ll report them to you! Did you find this post helpful or have an idea the BG Investigates Team should look into? Don’t forget to mention it on Twitter (#BGInvestigates).

Have freight that’s ready to be shipped by rail? Share a picture!  Are you on Pinterest? Pin it!

Back-to-School Preparation in Ports

Back to School Preparation in Ports | International Shipping | Container FreightAccording to Logistics Management and the Global Port Tracker, the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) reported an increase in container volume throughout the month of April.

“It was a very good month with double-digit increases on both the import and export side,” said POLA Director of Communications, Philip Sanfield.

Once a container is unloaded, it is usually reloaded with new cargo and shipped to a new port or destination. Although it is preferred that a container is loaded with new cargo once emptied, that’s not always the case. Shippers are forced to consider that the cost to ship back an empty container is more than the value of the container itself. So as these used containers begin to reposition to areas where they will be used, it’s a sign that shippers and retailers are preparing for a particular season or time where traffic is prominent. In this case (and due to the time of course), we’re referring to back-to-school season at the end of summer.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) anticipates the number of imports will grow through the back-to-school season, indicating signs of economic recovery with expectations for a “good year” for retailers. Toward the end of June and into early July shipments for back-to-school season will encourage the Peak Season shipping pattern.

West coast ports such as Los Angeles, Long Beach, Tacoma and Seattle welcome the anticipated increase in imports forecasted through July. The increased volume of goods shipped around the globe is a good indicator of economic health; proving that logistics moves the global economy.

As you prepare to send your kid to summer camp and make room in your budget for back-to-school supplies and apparel, keep in mind that the ports and retailers are preparing today to meet your demands tomorrow!