Reports Gives Favorable View of PSR

A trade group says in a new report that precision scheduled railroading has bolstered the view of railroads in the eyes of their freight customers.

The report was released by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and concluded that rail productivity continues to improve as the PSR operating model enables Class I railroads to reach lower operating ratios.

“Railroads did particularly well on intermodal as shippers sought alternatives to trucks,” the report said.

Among the frustrations that shippers encountered last year the report said were high demand and limited capacity that created a a sellers’ market that began in 2017 and carried into the first half of 2018.

That resulted in business logistics costs increasing by 11.4 percent last year. The cost of shipping by rail rose by 12.9 percent.

Shippers surveyed for the report complained about what the report termed “the worst year in memory in terms of cost and capacity availability.”

Intermodal shipping had the highest modal cost increase from 2017 to 2018 at 28.7 percent, which contributed to an overall transportation cost increase of 10.4 percent.

Capacity began catching up with demand in the second half of 2018, the report said, as the pace of GDP growth began to slow.

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