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Shippers need more rail-asset transparency, firms say

A market research study has found that shippers are spending more than 80 hours a month on procuring rail services for existing assets, indicating a greater need for efficiency.

In May, Commtrex Inc. and Rockwood Steel LLC partnered to conduct market research on 52 shippers and their practices related to shipping, leasing, buying, selling, storing and servicing rail cars. Commtrex is an electronic marketplace for the rail industry; Rockwood is a railroad management consulting business.

Among the study's findings:
• One in three shippers are willing to integrate new technologies to improve workflow;
• On average, 83.5 hours a month are spent procuring rail services for existing assets, while rail movement operations take an average of 127.9 hours per month; and
• 54 percent of the operational teams surveyed rely on consultants, third-party logistics firms and brokers to provide financial-related insights for decision-making.

"This research has identified not only common pain points across the commodities market, but it has uncovered the need for shippers to have access to more detailed and transparent information when making decisions around freight movement and rail asset management," said Commtrex founder and Chief Executive Officer Martin Lew in a press release.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/16/2017