Re: Freight car Distribution

Greg Martin

In the past five year I have heard this kind of thinking only once when
cars were so short you prayed for an empty and it went like this, " sure the
government says we have to give you a car, but they never said when..."
Now that is about as stupid as it gets as in the short three years later the
railroads and TTX are storing cars on every short line that is willing to
take them at $25.00 a day... OUCH!

So I think the message here is a bit out of the realm of the real
transportation world. Not having a car because of a shortage in the harvest season
is a local agents nightmare, as Tony will attest to, but that is why they
were there and paid well. All shipments were equally as important to him
because his bonus depended on it.

There were foreign road agents in every area of the country at the time
hoping to get that load/loads of perishables to his receiver. As an example
that I once described to Bill Welch if your GN packing house in Minneapolis
MN wanted those winter Navels at the HEAD END of the harvest rush the local
WFE agent might have to work with an SP or ATSF agent in Bakersfield and be
willing to give up some WFE cars to the origin carrier to secure the
needed business. He might have to scour the Bakersfield yards to look for
empties or dispatch cars from eastern Washington to get the cars required if the
origin carrier was short of cars to cover the business. He, the WFE rep.,
would likely have to move the cars car hire free to do so. This was a car
accounting nightmare as it required a "reclaim" to cover the letter quote
but nonetheless it was done. This was a marketing decision not an operation
department decision. But it also meant a better relationship for the shipper
who had a chance for added revenue (read as a better price for the lading)
and a "whose your buddy" for the local SP or ATSF agent. It was how
business was done and still is.

Greg Martin

In a message dated 4/14/2010 8:44:09 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

Whose first rule?

Railroads look to saving every cent they can.

Not all shipments are equal, there are lots that can wait until tomorrow
when you have your own cars available.

Shipments are rated by profitability therefore the shipments that are seen
to give the best rate of return will get cars today, the also rans get
cars when available.

Of course this is a simplification but so is to say that any available car
will be used.

I would naive to say politics, neighbouring industries etc don't enter
into the equation.

Ross McLeod Calgary

Join to automatically receive all group messages.