Should federal regulators impose additional rail safety mandates in the near future, IntelliTrans will be poised to help customers navigate through those changes, according to Ken Sherman, president of the supply chain visibility and logistics management platform.
Atlanta-headquartered IntelliTrans has a partnership with AllTranstek, a company that manages rail car fleets and provides tank car technical services. Both companies have been working together for awhile, but the two solidified their relationship in mid-February.
The partnership works like this: AllTranstek, which has offices in Downers Grove, Illinois, and Houston, uses a digital platform to monitor rail cars for maintenance and testing. The company also facilitates repairs and inspections and works with customers to meet regulatory compliance. Meanwhile, IntelliTrans provides a platform that tracks maintenance records, repair and operational costs, fleet data and lease information. The company works with shippers that utilize both truck and rail and who represent bulk and breakbulk commodities such as forest products, plastics, chemicals and aggregates.
Shippers can “come to us and say, hey, I want you to manage the transportation and the administration of my fleet… and then what we do is we integrate the data from AllTranstek into our visibility platform so that they can see what AllTranstek is doing in one place,” Sherman told FreightWaves.
With federal regulators and congressional leaders poised to implement additional measures to bolster rail safety in light of recent train derailments, including the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train, rail shippers utilizing IntelliTrans’ and AllTranstek’s services can be sure their rail car fleet is meeting those new regulatory requirements, Sherman said.
“What we’re able to do is have those programs [that track what] you now have to do — whether it’s installing head shields or doing the brake replacements…. That can be a program that is set up in the system. [A shipper says] that 100 cars and our fleet are carrying products that are governed by this new or existing regulation, and I’ve got to get this body of work done by this date. So then AllTranstek, coupled with IntelliTrans, can do things like put a head shield on this rail car” and manage when this work gets done in such a way that also manages a shipper’s fleet efficiently, Sherman said.
Besides ensuring that rail car fleets are up-to-date with the latest regulations, the partnership also helps shippers in a field where expertise is starting to retire or turn over. The partnership provides an “offensive” against the Great Resignation or conditions where institutional knowledge is fading, according to Sherman.
“Everybody’s got the Great Resignation going on. There are talent offensives and things like that. How do you retain people? How do you get people into this? In this part of the industry, the experts are generally people with 25, 30 years of experience. And the overall population of the U.S. is getting older, and this demographic is probably ahead of the curve in terms of the upcoming retirement,” Sherman said.
“Even if a shipper has that expertise today, how do they keep it going forward? How do they get talent coming in that says, I want to basically manage this whole administrative process. And so this not only solves the problem of how do you save money, do it efficiently, stay legal — because there’s all kinds of regulations from the [Federal Railroad Administration] and others in terms of managing your fleet — but also, how do I have the expertise available in times like today, where the talent offensive is something everybody talks about at the boardroom level?”
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