Full of ship...


In a message dated 12/12/00 3:21:21 PM Eastern Standard Time,
jaley@... writes:

For example, I recently learned that I need to ship sulfuric acid to
a corn mill (acid was used to produce corn oil). What kind of car do
I use (and more importantly, how can I find out for myself?)?
That's one of the real reasons why the Official Railway Equipment Register
and Official Guide existed. To help shippers with cars and shipping and
carrying railroads.

If this were the steam era and you wanted to ship sulphuric acid for the
first time ever and had a way to load it, your first call (or Western Union
message) might be to the interchanging railroad, who would say "We don't have
any tank cars, try Union Tank or American Car, Bye." You'd look up those
names in the ORER and give the company a call. In a perfect world they'd
walk you though the process and help you pick the type and number of cars you
need, and come up with a price; a sales rep. might show up for that purpose.
Then you'd arrange to ship the emptys with the railroad, and to ship the
loads to the customer. Anyone shipping tank cars also has to have a private
shop to clean and maintain the cars. You're supposed to get the car clean,
and at the end of your lease it needs to be returned clean. All of the above
is flexible as all kinds of deals are struck.

Some commodities are shipped in certain types of cars. Sulfuric Acid cars
might require special linings and what not -- stuff that's noted in the ORER.
Certain liquids are denser than others, so car sizes need to be worked out.

These were full time jobs for some bigger shippers ....Mike

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