Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Truckload and Intermodal Freight Specialist Optimises Cross Border Rail Connections

Schneider Hones Mexican and Canadian Services Whilst Railroad Partner Reorganises
Shipping News Feature

US – CANADA – MEXICO – Just occasionally a hint of the language associated with the romantic vision of the iron horse crossing the plains echoes once again even in the modern world of rail freight and a phrase in the latest press release from truckload, multimodal and logistics specialist Schneider National stands out to those less familiar with industry terms. Schneider have introduced a new ‘steel-wheel interchange’ in Jackson, Mississippi which, the company says, has markedly improved the intermodal delivery times on its cross border services between the US and neighbouring Canada and Mexico.

Put simply, the innovation means that the intermodal loads stay on the train as they travel between Chicago and Jackson on the Canadian National Railway, and between Jackson and Mexico on the Kansas City Southern Railway, a change which results in considerable time savings, at least one day in transit.

Companies moving freight across the United States–Mexico border have seen dramatic improvements in security, paperwork processing, transit time and service in recent years by way of Schneider National’s Mexico Direct service, a nonstop, borderless intermodal service. Although Schneider has been operating this facility since 2006, the new interchange has made the offering a faster, more efficient option for shippers crossing the border. Jim Filter, Senior Vice President, Intermodal Commercial Management, Schneider National, explains:

“Until recently, a Mexico Direct shipment interchanged in Houston, there, it travelled 55 miles by truck, through a congested area, to get to the ramp that brought it to the next leg of the journey. The new interchange in Jackson eliminates all that. The load stays on the train and keeps moving, which saves customers at least one full day of transit time. Through our history and in-country presence, we have developed an expertise in cross-border door-to-door shipments through both Mexico Direct and our truckload service, EZ-Border.”

Schneider Intermodal says improved transit times are just one of many benefits offers shippers doing business in Mexico with improved reliability, no border hand-offs, real-time monitoring and proven security practices all adding to the service offering. Schneider’s strong in-country presence and the long-standing relationships the company has created in Mexico are also critical assets in its cross-border service success. In addition to its Mexico City–based operations, Schneider operates at four ramps in Laredo, Monterrey, San Luis Potosi and Toluca to service shippers’ freight needs. Bernardo Rodarte, Vice President of Mexico operations:

“Hands down, we are the largest cross-border transportation provider in the industry, moving 450 loads per day, and we deliver the best value in the market. We’ve been around since 1935, so we know transportation. We know Mexico, and we know how to seamlessly move freight across the border.”

Partners Kansas City Southern and Canadian National are equally effusive about the improvements for clients. Gil Niesen, Assistant Vice President – Intermodal Sales and Marketing at the KCS, echoes the importance of Schneider’s extensive knowledge of Mexico, saying:

“One of the reasons we are excited to be a part of Schneider’s cross-border solution is their strength and reputation in Mexico. Together, we are bringing incredible value to our customers by leveraging their deep expertise.”

Meanwhile CN Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, J. J. Ruest, was more than willing to reinforce how important the trio of cargo carriers feel the introduction of a faster and more comprehensive service offering is, adding:

“CN believes its close collaboration with Schneider and KCS will make the complex border-crossing process a smooth and seamless one, improving supply chain efficiencies, lowering transit times and making our mutual customers more competitive in their markets.”

There were also major organisational changes announced this week to Kansas City Southern’s operations teams. Steve E. Truitt, previously Assistant Vice President of Shreveport Terminal, will move into the newly-created position vice president safety training and standards responsible for safe operating practices and other workplace safety matters, as well as implementation and enforcement of operating rules and standards for all of KCS’ US operating departments.

Gregory S. Walling’s position of Assistant Vice President has been expanded to Vice President, Network Planning whilst within Mr Walling’s group, Olivia A. Daily will move from Capacity Planning Analyst to Assistant Vice President, Network Design and Optimisation. She is now responsible for KCS’ service design and measurement disciplines, as well as long-term planning for the physical capacity of the network. 

Kelly P. King has moved from Director of Network Planning to the newly-created position Assistant Vice President, Advanced Systems. She is responsible for KCS’ implementation of Positive Train Control and other real-time technology initiatives. Timothy A. Ott was promoted from Director Field Transportation to Assistant Vice President of the Southeast Division and Eloy Sanchez was promoted from Director Field Transportation to Assistant Vice President of the Southwest Division. 

In addition to these promotions, Assistant Vice Presidents Mike Curry moved from the Midwest Division to the Network Operations Center; Chad Devenney moved from the Network Operations Center to the Midwest Division; and Rick Pennington moved from the Southeast Division to Shreveport Terminal.