This article has been reprinted from the June 20 USDA Grain Transportation Report.
Truckers servicing rail hubs in the Chicago region have begun publishing monthly rail turn times to highlight the impact of terminal congestion on shippers.
According to a recent Journal of Commerce article, Chicago has experienced two consecutive winters of poor performance and associated container logistics problems in the Midwest hub.
Measuring the data and comparing the results will allow both shippers and truckers to evaluate railroads’ efficiency.
Shippers will be able to make routing decisions based on the information and pressure underperforming railroads to address inefficiencies.
A similar project, by the Harbor Trucking Association (HTA), monitors turn times in Southern California and allows HTA to work with terminal operators to improve their numbers.
Both groups are using GeoStamp, which utilizes geofencing technology to measure all aspects of a turn. The majority of U.S. containerized grain exports transit the Chicago region.