Inbound Logistics | October 2022

CDL 1000 fulfills this pledge by getting containers out of terminals even when no appointments are available at destination warehouses. The company uses its own container yards to store the boxes. “We have massive infrastructure near the biggest rail terminals in the country,” Sobko says. CDL 1000 soon plans to extend its guarantee across the entire United States by acquiring some drayage companies with a widespread terminal footprint. Take a hybrid approach. If you need a faster transit than standard rail service provides, but don’t want to pay over- the-road freight rates, premium rail service can offer a happy medium. A premium load often rides on the same train as standard-priced loads. But a

premium shipper might be allowed to drop containers at the origin terminal later than other shippers and pick up containers at the destination sooner. Coyote Logistics used a premium service, for example, to get one customer a shorter transit time from the West Coast to Pennsylvania. Normally, Coyote would have booked an intermodal shipment to the East Coast and then drayed the container to its final destination, for a total transit time of seven or eight days. Instead, Coyote put the freight on a premium service to Chicago and then arranged for a longer dray. “We were able to put together a six- day transit, which is just slightly longer than truck,” Simendinger says.

a container before the railroad starts applying storage charges, at $150 to $200 per container per day. CDL 1000 recently pledged to pull customers’ containers out of ocean and rail terminals within 24 hours, or else it would pay shippers’ late fees and storage costs for them. The company has offered this guarantee to its biggest customers in the largest rail centers for some time, as long as those shippers give all their drayage business in a market to CDL 1000. Now, the company is extending that pledge to customers of all sizes. “If you fully outsource your entire market to us—let’s say in Chicago, or Memphis— we guarantee that you will pay zero in storage costs,” Sobko says.


Shippers who want to shift volume from road to rail may find that a daunting prospect, in part because they lack a central source of information about their freight. Shippers often have to use several software solutions, plus multiple railroad websites, to get the data they need. To make rail shipping more inviting, TransmetriQ, powered by Railinc, an Association of American Railroads subsidiary that provides rail data and messaging services to the North American freight railway industry, has been rolling out a new Rail Management System (RMS) that integrates data from a wide variety of sources in a single interface. RMS currently includes a dashboard for tracing shipments, plus modules for issuing bills of lading and performing data analytics. In 2023, TransmetriQ will add asset management, rate management, and yard management, plus a route optimization tool that uses AI and machine learning to help choose the best way to ship a load. “Shippers can give the RMS an origin-destination pair and ask it to provide five different ways to get a shipment

there, with information about the transit time and cost of each route,” explains Danny Dever, product manager at TransmetriQ. “They can then look at transit time and cost to make informed modal decisions.” Both carload and intermodal shippers have embraced RMS. One ocean carrier uses the tracing dashboard to keep tabs on its containers as they move through the rail network. “We built the ocean carrier a special module in the application, called Quick Trace, which allows them to quickly pull up—with integrated data from the railroads—items such as the last free day, the pickup number, and the ETA,” Dever says. This feature should prove helpful to intermodal shippers in general. “Hopefully, shippers will get more data, and containers can flow a little faster through the terminals,” he adds.

October 2022 • Inbound Logistics 41

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