Tuesday, October 27, 2009

UP, CSX launch ‘RailChem Connect’

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One day after regional competitor Norfolk Southern heralded a joint effort with Union Pacific, CSX announced its own coordinated effort with UP, dubbed “RailChem Connect,” designed to coordinate and expedite chemical transport within the Texas Gulf Coast region and the Southeast.

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RailChem Connect aims to allow shipments to bypass smaller rail yards for expedited transit between major hubs, the railroads said. “These changes, along with increased operations coordination between the railroads,increase reliability of east- and west-bound service between Union Pacific-served chemical markets such as Houston, southern Texas, and Louisiana, and CSXT-served consumption markets in the southeastern states.”

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Besides striving for more consistent and speedier transit time, RailChem Connect also will offer both railroads faster equipment turns and a shorter route than previously available for chemical shipments in the service region, the railroads said. CSX and UP said such improvements are in addition to gains already made, including reduction of transit time “between major markets by 25% in the last three years while improving consistency by 23%.”

"Our teams are coordinating efforts to focus on animproved service product for chemicals customers by reducing transit times and tightening the variability in our delivery, significantly improving reliability for customers," said Diane Duren, vice president and general manager of Chemicals for Union Pacific.

"In addition to the inherent safety and environmental advantages that rail offers shippers, RailChem Connect creates advantages for Union Pacific and CSXT customers that allow them to derive even more value from rail," said Dean Piacente, CSXT vice president-Chemicals & Fertilizer.  "The increased coordination between our railroads results in improved transit and consistency, which translates into enhanced supply chain efficiency, a more balanced cycle for private rail equipment, and bottom-line cost savings for our customers."