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Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends

8/15/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Web tool to help NS manage fleet, customers' future car needs


To better equate car supply with demand, Class Is are beginning to offer demand forecasting tools on their Web sites, enabling customers to input rail-car demands for the next seven to 28 days.

To that end, Norfolk Southern Railway Aug. 15 launched eCARS, a car order application designed to replace the railroad's current phone and fax processes. eCARS enables customers to input their equipment type and loading date demands up to 21 days in advance — helping the Class I better manage its car fleet.

NS offers an application demonstration at http:www.nscorp.com/nscorp/html/demo/ibol/Start Apps Frame.htm. eCARS is part of the railroad's Thoroughbred Information System, which includes customized reports, mileage inquiries, demand tracing and iBOL (Internet Bill of Lading).

"The Internet gives us an opportunity to manage customer information better than we've managed it before," said Pat Gannon, NS director of marketing services, in a June interview. "By better managing data, we can better service customers, [but] we must continue to do our part finding ways to get customers to talk to our computer."

NS also plans to soon roll-out a new customized report application, which would enable customers to retrieve historical shipment data and manage the information as they see fit.

"Customers can put in the parameters they want, and can drill down to specific lane information or car information," said Gannon.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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