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Road/Rail/Intermodal

2015-2016 Archives

Geodis Introduces Digital Solutions for Road Transport

Summary: Named ‘Neptune’, Geodis’ web portal allows hauliers and customers to manage their activities from a single platform including scheduling, planning, reporting of incidents and document management and submission. Also on the web portal is a reporting tool, ScoreCard which enables the user to analyze relevant indicators in order to monitor the performance of Geodis controlled transport activities.

The Neptune portal works within its transportation management system, Zenith and its mobile application, Zenmob.

Geodis’ Executive Vice President of Road Transport – “Geodis’ vision is to be the growth partner for our clients. In this context, the digitalization of our activities aims to simplify the daily life of our customers and our partners.”

LogisticsTI Take: As more business transactions moves online, logistics providers need to provide the means for connection for seamless and real-time transactions. In addition, such solutions have become a requirement for all logistics providers to offer or else face extinction. While nothing new to the industry is really offered within its digital solution, Geodis’ solution will bode well with existing customers and keep it in the competitive 3PL race.


Landstar Expands Mexico Operations with Opening of Landstar Metro

Summary: Landstar expanded its Mexican operations by opening Landstar Metro in Mexico City. The new operation provides Mexico freight and logistics services within Mexico and in conjunction with Landstar’s US/Mexico cross-border services.

Landstar Metro provides access to truckload, less-than-truckload and expedite third party capacity. According to Landstar Transportation Logistics Executive Vice President of Operations, “With Landstar Metro, we have added the final piece – in-country freight management services – to our cross-border and Mexico freight transportation operations. Opening a location in Mexico enables Landstar to more seamlessly serve the needs of our customers throughout North America.”

LogisticsTI Take: A good move for Landstar to combine its Mexico service offerings. More logistics and transportation providers are doing this and we expect to see more such moves.


CP-Vancouver-Detroit-Map

CP Launches Direct Rail Transportation Service from Vancouver to Detroit

Summary: The service leverages CP’s  transload facility in Vancouver and its  live-lift operation at Portal, North Dakota to accelerate cross-border shipments. According to the company, the service can cut transit times from the West Coast to Detroit by as much as 48 hours.

The Vancouver transload operation is co-located at CP’s carload and intermodal facility. It allows CP to utilize rail for movements between terminals and ports where others must rely on trucks, reducing traffic congestion in the Vancouver area and resulting in a lower cost, environmentally friendly, strategic advantage.

CP’s live lift operations at the Portal border crossing allows CP to lift single containers off of trains for inspection by customs authorities rather than having entire intermodal railcars – which can carry up to 15 containers – held up. This eliminates delays to containers not flagged for inspection, making it easier and faster for customers to do cross-border business.

From Detroit, CP now serves both the Port of Montreal and the Port of Vancouver daily in and out of its CP-controlled terminal.

LogisticsTI Take: CP’s latest service aims to quicken cross-border cargo into the US and in particular assist the automotive industry in auto and parts movements. The Canadian rail company has built out a network throughout Canada and the US connecting Canada’s west coast ports to US ports as far south as New Orleans – furthering increasing competition with the US west coast ports.


Hub Group Introduces Freight Visibility Platform

Summary: Hub Group Connect provides customers with shipment visibility and online tracking from any device. The service aggregates data from hub Group’s 33,000+ satellite-tracked intermodal containers, an EOBR-compliant trucking fleet and a network of truckload carriers. Customers can not only track their shipments and access data but also can submit rate requests, book new shipments and set up automatic load status updates via text or email.

In addition, a nice feature that’s also available is access to white papers, industry news and national weather alerts. According to the Executive Vice President, Account Management and Intermodal Operations for the Hub Group, “Our customers need convenience, visibility, simplicity and solutions. Hub Group Connect brings all essential information together in one place in an intuitive format.”

LogisticsTI Take: The ability to track shipments has become a standard in the logistics market; however, many of the current capabilities have been targeted to one mode of transportation. This latest solution from the Hub Group appears to be a nice, useful tool for US shippers that utilize multi-modal services. The additional research, news and weather reports is also a great addition to the portal.


DB Cargo to Invest in 60 New Locomotives to Bring More Freight Transport to Rail

Summary: As part of a master agreement for up to 100 new main-line locomotives, DB Cargo will initially purchase 60 Vectron multi-current locomotives from Siemens. The locomotives, which can be used in cross-border transport are worth around a quarter of a billion euros.

The first five locomotives will go into operation in December 2017. The additional 55 locomotives are scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2018. The locomotives will be equipped with European Train Control System (ETCS) technologies and will be used on the Rhine-Alpine corridor in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and the Netherlands, and beginning in 2020 in Belgium as well.

LogisticsTI Take: ETCS has been promoted by the European Commission for use throughout Europe. The system aims to remedy the lack of standardization in the area of signalling and train control systems which constitutes one of the major obstacles to the development of international rail traffic. In addition, the encouragement of rail freight will further aid in the reduction of CO2 emissions across the region.


North Carolina Ports and CSX Launch Queen City Express

Summary: A daily, intermodal rail service between the Port of Wilmington and Charlotte starting July 28, 2017 marking the official return of intermodal rail to North Carolina Ports. North Carolina Ports cites in its press release that Queen City Express will “lower transportation costs for businesses while taking trucks off the road, thus reducing emissions. One intermodal train can take as many as 280 trucks off the road, improving road safety and minimizing wear and tear on the State’s highways”.

According to the Vice President of CSX Intermondal, “This service, dovetailed with the investment that CSX is making in Rocky Mount, is a testament to our dedication to the State of North Carolina and North Carolina Ports. In addition to the connection to Charlotte, CSX will also provide future access to a transformational, state-of-the-art intermodal rail terminal in Eastern North Carolina – the Carolina Connector.”

Indeed, investments are being made to boost the Port of Wilmington allowing it to compete against neighbors to the north in Virginia and to the south in Charleston and Savannah. In addition to the Queen City Express, North Carolina Ports recently announced the activation of four new container services, setting the Port of Wilmington. To prepare for this growth, North Carolina Ports has ordered New Panamax ship-to-shore cranes from designer Shanghai Zhenjua Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. Between the new cranes, turning basin expansion project, various berth improvements, and the expansion of the container yard, North Carolina Ports will pump over $150 million into its infrastructure over the next few years.

LogisticsTI Take: Competition among ports is growing as they prepare for larger ships. The growth of inland terminals such as Charlotte and in Greensboro are also increasing allowing freight to move quickly from port to inland hubs. Charlotte is already benefiting thanks to the collaboration of the Port of Charleston and the Greer inland terminal. It’s likely it will continue to benefit from this as well as the Dillon inland terminal which is being jointly developed by CSX and the South Carolina Port Authority. All in all, these partnerships are a win for the ports, port authorities, inland terminals and perhaps mostly the railroads themselves.


Werner Enterprises Introduces Werner Final Mile

Summary: Werner Enterprises has introduced a logistics solution, Werner Final Mile, which will deliver large or heavy items using two uniformed associates operating a lift gate straight truck. Utilizing its network of 200 locations, the service will provides nationwide delivery and related services to residential and business locations.

In addition, Werner highlights its proprietary and “highly innovative” software platform which was developed over the last year and allows for automated, high volume e-commerce delivery of non-conveyable products from white-glove home and business deliveries including returns and exchanges.

LogisticsTI Take: Werner Enterprises joins a host of trucking firms offering similar services. There is a growing number of larger/heavier items being ordered online. However, similar to small parcel and the increasingly competitive environment in general, the volumes may be there but will the profits?


BNSF Logistics Expands Presence in Mexico

Summary: BNSF Logistics LLC is expanding its presence in Mexico through its subsidiary, BNSF Railway Servicios de Logistica, S. de R.L. de C.U. Its new Queretaro location will primarily handle Mexico moves with expertise in over-the-road truckload, temperature-controlled, flatbed, less-than-truckload and intermodal. This expansion will not only serve existing customers in Mexico but future ones.

LogisticsTI Take: Manufacturing, expanding middle-class and general good economic conditions, more logistics and transportation providers are moving into the Mexican market to take advantage of the positive trends. For many of these providers, cross-border solutions were introduced previously but due to uncertainty surrounding NAFTA, a focus on the Mexican market itself, is a good move.


UPS Expands China-Europe Rail Service

Summary: UPS added six additional stations to its preferred full and less-than-container load multimodal rail service between Europe and China. Changsha, Chongqing, Suzhou and Wuhan Stations were added in China to the existing stations of Zhengzhou and Chengdu. In Europe stops in Duisburg, Germany and Warsaw Poland were added to the existing stops of Lodz, Poland and Hamburg, Germany.

While the four new Chinese stations were chosen for their close proximity to industrial manufacturing locations, in Europe, Duisburg provides access to river, rail, road and air transport while the new Warsaw stop is a center for e-commerce fulfillment, research & development and industrial manufacturing.

According to the president of UPS Freight Forwarding, the “China-Europe rail services can save customers up to 65% versus air freight and improve time-in-transit by 40% versus traditional ocean freight service.”

LogisticsTI Take: The China-Europe rail network has captured the attention of shippers and logistics providers alike. According to Chinese data, rail cargo is on the rise as more cities/countries sign on to be a part of the network. It serves as an alternative to air and ocean transport a plus for shippers who are looking for more options.


Saia and TST Overland Express Announce US-Canada Cross-Border LTL Partnership

Summary: Saia and TST Overland Express, a wholly owned subsidiary of TFI International (formerly TransForce). announced a partnership to serve both companies’ U.S.-Canada cross-border less-than-truckload customers. As a result of the partnership, Saia LT Freight will service TST Overland’s LTL freight entering the US. and TST Overland will service Saia’s LTL freight entering Canada. The partnership will be effective May 22, 2017.

President of TST Overland Express said, “We are pleased to announce this partnership with Saia. Our Canadian customers will benefit from Saia’s extensive network of terminals in the U.S. and, with access to the largest LTL network in Canada, we offer Saia’s U.S. customers unparalleled LTL service in Canada.”

LogisticsTI Take: Despite questions surrounding NAFTA, cross-border services continue to expand. A good move for both companies as TFI looks to expand its reach within the US via its subsidiaries and Saia looks to profitably grow its business via its own expansion plans.


CN and TFI International Renews Agreement for Intermodal Service

Summary: The renewed long-term partnership aligns rail to the Pacific Ocean with truckload, less-than-truckload and package and courier services. According to CN’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, “We believe our expanding partnership will help both our organizations provide more consistent, reliable service for our shared and growing customer base.” TFI International Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer noted, “This agreement is in line with TFI’s stated objective to grow its intermodal presence in Canada.”

LogisticsTI Take: Combination of two large transport providers will provide a country-wide and cross-border intermodal option for shippers.


Roadrunner Transportation Systems Announces Formation of Roadrunner Temperature Controlled

Summary: Roadrunner Transportation Systems has combined its two temperature-controlled subsidiaries, M. Bruenger and R&M Transportation into a single company to expand geographical market coverage. According to the President and COO of Roadrunner Transportation Systems, “We are creating a temperature controlled network that will control more than 400 tractors and manage more than 650 temperature controlled trailers.”

Roadrunner Temperature Controlled provides transportation solutions for frozen foods, meat, seafood, produce, beverages, pharmaceutical goods and more requiring temperature controlled transit. The group further offers such services as Hazmat, Smartway certifications, real-time load tracking, EDI, FMSA compliance and dedicated customer service.

McLeod TMS, ORBCOMM tracking for real-time satellite load location updates and Electronic Logging Devices is utilized.

LogisticsTI Take: Temperature-control transport continues to be an area in which trucking firms are looking to expand into as profit margins tighten. For Roadrunner, a good move in integrating two of its numerous acquisitions.


KCS, Watco, WTC Announce Mexico Refined Energy Products Terminal 

Summary: Kansas City Southern, Watco Companies and WTC Industrial announced a joint venture investment which will facilitate and expand the exportation of liquid fuels from the US to Mexico. The project will include the construction of a unit train liquid fuels terminal located in the WTC Industrial Park in San Luis Potosi. The facility will be solely rail served by Kansas City Southern de Mexico.

The partners will invest about $45 million in this phase of the project, which has an anticipated completion in Q2 2017. It is projected that the terminal will eventually include a storage facility that would provide retail fuels for the population of Central Mexico.

LogisticsTI Take: A promising project despite potential political challenges.