IntelliTrans Managed Services Intervened for Commodities Clients Before Rail Strike
Rail Strike Averted, but IntelliTrans’ Clients Were Ready to Keep Facilities Operating and Production Flowing
Atlanta, GA — September 22, 2022 — IntelliTrans, the leader in global multi-modal solutions that optimize supply chain operations for bulk and break-bulk product manufacturers, helped numerous clients prepare their supply chains for the disruptions that the forecasted rail strike would cause before the strike date of Sept. 15. Even though the strike was averted, IntelliTrans Intervention Managed Services continues to work closely with rail shippers to keep their products moving without any disruptions.
“About a month before the pending rail strike, we started preparing clients so that their production facilities could remain operational as long as possible, if the rail systems were closed,” said Karen Howlett, Operations Manager, IntelliTrans. “Then, last week, we increased empty rail car pipelines to various facilities so the plants could continue operating and producing products. These intervention services and our technology for supply chain visibility and real-time tracking ensured our clients could continue operations.”
IntelliTrans offers freight management, strategic planning, tactical execuion, in-transit tracking, freight invoice auditing and payment, advanced analytics, transportation management, yard management, reporting, and supply chain visibility backed by a team of experts who work with customers to help their businesses work smarter, faster, and better.
The rail industry has had issues with personnel counts ever since precision scheduled railroading (PSR) came into play, lowering headcounts to make finances look better for investors. Then COVID hit, and the skeleton crews became even more taxed, with issues around personal time off, vacations, doctor visits, and more. The railroads tried to counter with hiring bonuses and streamlined training, but rumors of a strike circulated. Then last week, many carriers of certain products, like hazardous materials, were embargoed and could no longer ship these products for safety reasons.
As the rail strike loomed, IntelliTrans worked with supply chain planners at client sites to develop what-if scenarios and to understand all possibilities of disruptions that could happen if the strike occurred. The company helped its customers prepare their supply chains by:
- Communicating daily with carriers and shippers
- Publishing updates from carriers in real-time
- Moving empty cars to storage yards so that when the time came to move the empties to facilities, the cars could be moved quicker
- Working with carriers to obtain their contingency plans, which included their management teams deployed to operate the trains so that essentials like electricity would remain available
- Located trucks where needed so the truck would be readily available to move product
- Real-time tracking of rail cars to see where they were located and if they needed to be moved
- Looking at variables and all possibilities for the estimated time of arrival so that cars would arrive on time before the strike occurred
The IntelliTrans Global Supply Chain Visibility solution played a massive role in diverting railcars to the correct locations. Real-time tracking of the cars alerted shippers to where the cars were at all times. The IntelliTrans Intervention Team helped facilitate contingency planning and decision-making so that plants would continue to operate and people would keep working.
“It was a very nerve-racking week,” adds Howlett. “We had to plan for something to fail and control what we could control, but everything worked out, and our clients kept their businesses running.”
IntelliTrans, a Roper Technologies company, provides unified and proactive solutions to manage complex supply chain needs. Customers are nimble and efficient with the global supply chain transparency powered by the IntelliTrans cloud-based Control Tower (Global Visibility Platform℠) and IntelliTrans TMS (transportation management system), the only SaaS-based TMS that provides shipment execution and visibility across rail, truck, intermodal, barge, and ocean. IntelliTrans enables complete, timely, and accurate data, allowing customers to automate business processes, improve customer service, and reduce operational costs. From real-time alerts to interactive data visualizations, IntelliTrans gives organizations the tools to ask deeper questions and deliver more impactful results. Website: www.intellitrans.com.