The process of highway-to-rail (H2R) conversion has become a major focus for shippers who are trying to reduce transportation costs, says a new whitepaper by CSX.
It cites rising fuel prices, decreased truckload capacity, new regulations affecting drivers (i.e., CSA 2010 and Hours of Service Revisions), have been major drivers of change in the marketplace. But, says the railroad, not all truckload lanes are strong candidates for conversion to rail intermodal.
It offers six steps to examining the H2R conversion process:
- Use collaboration to leverage industry expert knowledge.
- Identify transportation needs and challenges – this will help in evaluating what freight is appropriate to shift from highway to rail and what is not.
- Complete a freight analysis using origin-destination information to identify conversion opportunities.
- Identify an intermodal provider or channel partner who has the specific tools and skill set to complete the door-todoor moves.
- Obtain pricing and service information.
- Integrate the rail intermodal solution into the existing
- transportation plan.