Switching & Terminal

Adapt or die: Railroads must embrace advanced technologies

Advancements in the logistics industry over the past ten years have been vast, especially in over-the-road shipping modes with shippers utilizing 3PLs at record levels for domestic transportation management. The move toward partnering with logistics service providers has allowed shippers to use the power of modern technology to increase visibility and track product movements throughout their supply chains with greater efficiency than ever before. Unfortunately, rail has not seen advancement at the same pace, leaving shippers with the perception that rail carriers are behind the times.

Improving railroad cyber-threat resilience

Railroads are a critical component of America’s transportation infrastructure, and have been making significant investments in advanced networked computer control systems and information technologies. This has enabled the employment of new capabilities such as “Positive Train Control and “Precision Railroading” with increased operational efficiencies and improvements in safety. However, the introduction of these new technologies also results in increased organizational and system vulnerabilities to disruption arising from cyberattacks .

Rail freight traffic: What’s going on here?

We traditionally have reported the Association of American Railroads weekly compilation of freight traffic statistics as “straight news,” with commentary restricted to what the AAR may include in the release, which is rare. In this case, there’s a lot going on here, enough to warrant some analysis. The figures are all here, along with supporting charts. But don’t take them at face value.