Rail freight – how to make it work for you

I am a big fan of utilising the rail network for moving freight. It is efficient, reliable, safe, smooth, professional and has the added benefit of being environmentally responsible.

But, let’s face it, rail doesn’t have the best image. Through the 80s and 90s, rail really didn’t care about their customers. Freight went missing, freight was damaged and rail did what was best for rail. Underinvestment was rife and customer service became non-existent.

That has all changed though. The companies that operate the trains today (generally) do not manage the track. They (generally) do not load freight. They do what they do best – operate locomotives and wagons.922173_608675319162646_1042911263_o

This means that, as a shipper, you deal with freight forwarders who consolidate your smaller consignments and supply containers and local delivery for full loads. Naturally, the benefits are numerous of this approach. Consolidated shipments, where your freight is loaded into a container with other freight, allow you to access the benefits of rail freight without having to fill a container.

The benefits include having access great rates that wouldn’t be available by road; that your freight is in a controlled, secure environment at all times; only having one point of contact – you don’t need to organise a container, at least four transport legs, plus one or more rail operators.

Additionally, we can provide specialised shipping containers that allow us to load your freight that wouldn’t fit through the container doors easily. We can provide flat top, curtain side, open top, pallet wide, high cube or even bulk shipping containers, to suit your requirements. If you need us to place the container on the ground for you too load, we can do this. We can even arrange to leave the trailer overnight, or the container for a month if you need.

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Securing freight in a standard shipping container obviously requires a different approach from a curtainsider. We can provide advice and assistance with this – it need not be daunting.

Understanding where rail freight is available is important. Every capital city, excepting for Canberra is serviced by rail. Many other major centres are also serviced, especially in the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Rail is very much on a resurgence – our national freight task will double in the next 15 years. We don’t have enough truck drivers as it is, let alone the impact on the road network. Inland rail from Melbourne to Brisbane is making progress, which will unlock a great new potential for efficiency and timeliness.

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Most people will not be aware that rail has a greater than 80% market share on freight between the East Coast and Perth. Even TNT use rail on these lanes. If you are using road to send freight to Perth, I sincerely hope you are moving over size machinery.

Applied Logistics has access to all rail freight operators in Australia, including TasRail, as well as service providers in all centres. Enquire now to find out how we can use rail to improve your business.

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