Author: Jim Blaze

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Gulf Coast Battle: A Possible Solution

As the evidentiary hearing regarding the reintroduction and expansion of Amtrak passenger train service between New Orleans and Mobile continues before the Surface Transportation Board, interesting operational cost-sharing questions have emerged regarding how Amtrak trains may be able to coexist with very long CSX freights.

A Journey Into the Telematics Universe

Over the past year and a half, I have been interviewing many of the people and companies that are in the business of trying to improve what is normally called “track and trace” and condition reporting of railway cargo and railway rolling stock equipment. Today, it’s called “telematics.”

Insights From IANA Expo2021

With lingering concerns about COVID-19 infections, this year’s attendance at the Sept. 12-14 Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) Expo2021 conference in Long Beach, Calif., was relatively low when compared to the association’s past events. But those participating—3PLs, shippers, railroads, truckers, maritime ship operators, ports and various containerization suppliers—were energized about the multi-modal trade with containers, and the presentation sessions offered meaningful metrics and give-and-take dialogue. And yes, equipment, technology, and various intermodal services and products were on display with a “please touch and question” atmosphere.

‘Maybe So Sir, But Not Today’

I spent about a half-decade of my railway career working with several intermodal freight logistics luminaries: Marvin Manheim of Northwestern University’s Transportation Center, Penn State Professor of Logistics Kant Rao and Bryan Stone of Intercontainer, with contributions from Rick Hill and Dick Andino, pioneers of ship-to-rail intermodal at APL. These folks and others helped shape my view of moving containers along complex links and nodes among different modes and terminals.