With the driver shortage continuing to hurt trucking capacity while boosting its cost, many shippers are looking to rail transportation to move their products across the US. When such shippers partner with 3PL providers that have rail siding at their warehouses, the process of using rail is even quicker and more efficient.
What is rail siding?
Rail siding is a low-speed section of railroad track that’s set apart from the traditional tracks (i.e., a main line or branch line). It connects to a through track, or to other sidings at either end of the main line. These sections of track are typically made with lighter rails and designed to handle less traffic, lower speeds, and few (if any) signals.
In most cases, rail sidings are used for marshaling, stabling, storing, loading, and unloading vehicles. At a warehouse with rail sidings, your 3PL provider can use the sidings to stage rolling stock that needs to be loaded or unloaded.
For example, Kanban’s distribution campus in Rocky Mount, NC is served by CSX rail and by the brand-new CSX Carolina Connector. We’re able to support incoming rail freight from the CSX railway in one of two ways:
- Boxcars can be brought on rail siding to one of our warehouse’s four rail-siding doors. The products can then be unloaded directly into the warehouse.
- Center-beam cars are brought on rail siding to our transload yard. Once in the yard, the products can be loaded onto flatbed trucks which can transport the product inside the warehouse via drive-through doors, or the trucks can head out straightaway and deliver the products to the destination. As for storage, there are some products that are suitable for storage in our 2-acre outdoor storage space, while most others will be brought inside the warehouse.
5 Reasons to Use a Warehouse with Rail Siding
Having a warehouse with rail siding presents numerous benefits and allows you to develop a more flexible transportation process for your supply chain. It can also help you:
- Reduce transportation costs: One railcar transports the same volume as three-to-four OTR trucks, allowing you to decrease your dependence on much more expensive and harder-to-come-by trucking services.
- Eliminate the need for short-haul trucks: Rail siding enables warehouses to easily access trains, thus eliminating the need to move shipments to and from the warehouse via truck.
- Keep your cargo moving in adverse conditions: Railroads are far less impacted by weather than their trucking counterparts. They are also less likely to experience delays due to vehicle accidents or traffic jams.
- Minimize your company’s carbon footprint: Goods moved via rail create less environmental impact than those transported via truck. Because rail is about 3.5 times more fuel efficient than trucks, shippers can reduce fuel use and related carbon emissions.
- Go intermodal: You don’t need to choose between rail and trucking. Many companies embrace rail-truck intermodal transportation by using the more expensive trucks for shorter legs of the journey and cost-effective rail for the long stretch.
Lean on Kanban Logistics for Rail-Sided Warehousing on the East Coast
At Kanban Logistics in Eastern North Carolina, we have both rail siding and a transload yard at our Rocky Mount facility, which is part of our local network of warehouses totaling over 1 million square feet of space. This Rocky Mount facility is served by CSX rail and can support your movements into and out of the new CSX intermodal terminal. In fact, Kanban is recognized as a premier provider in CSX’s TransFLO program, which transloads commodities between rail cars and trucks in the Eastern U.S. and Canada.
To learn more about Kanban’s ability to support your rail movements on the East Coast, contact us today.