Rail Freight Logistics Services: Types of Equipment Used
Updated: Mar 26
When we talk about the USA's progress history, rail service played a significant role in driving economic growth. It helped the country move freight around the country. Yet this option doesn't pop up in your mind with today's fast-moving industry of logistics and supply chain.
We focus on raising awareness of rail logistics services offered by railway contractor companies to take advantage of everything this model has to offer their supply chain and logistics strategy.
Rail Logistics Services
The services essentially focus on moving bulk material across huge distances, covering a vast network of railroads running across the USA. Since rails stay on track, they can only move between rail-served buildings or yards specifically designed for handling bulk freight.
Rail services are not an alternative for truckloads on price or transit. It is a very different service. Thus it is not for everyone. However, for bulk material, it can be cost-effective.
The real quandary for most companies that could potentially take advantage of the service is that the freight requires movement from one rail-sided building to another. Getting in touch with logistics companies that can provide the cross-docking service to move the freight from a truck into rail compartments can overcome such situations.
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Types of Equipment Used for Rail Logistics Services
There is a variety of equipment types used by railroads when moving freight. Each serves a specific use. Below we discuss the types and their usage.
Automotive racks – the racks are designed to move automobiles, trucks, SUVs and mini-vans.
Boxcars - one of the most common types of rail service is boxcars. They are designed to transport palletized, crated or large bulk items, such as paper stock dolls.
Center beams - center beams have a center partition to secure the product in place, ideal for transporting building supplies
Covered hoppers - covered hoppers are designed to handle free-flowing commodities loaded from the top with the product dispensed from the bottom.
Coil cars - these are designed for transporting coiled steel and steel plates with other high-grade ores.
Flat cars – flat cars come in various lengths and tonnage capacities for various commodities that are not subject to damage from outdoor elements.
Gondolas - gondolas come in handy for transporting material in bulk, like scrap metal, aggregates, coal, lumber and many other similar commodities that cannot be damaged by the elements. Make use of reliable and efficient railroad dispatch services to send goods in bulk by gondolas.
Refrigerated boxcar - refrigerated boxcars are similar to boxcars but have adjustable temperatures. They are used to ship frozen foods, fresh fruits and vegetables where temperature regulation is required.
Open top hoppers – for dry bulk commodities that are less likely to be affected by the outdoor elements. Generally, the product is loaded on the top and released from the bottom gates to dump into storage pits below.
Tank cars - for transporting compressed goods, like petroleum-based products.. Most non-railroad companies own tank cars
Specialized rail equipment - when there is a need to supply specific commodities, specialized rail equipment is used.
If you are looking to transport freight by rail, RailRCS will assist you with freight professional services. We promise to serve you with the best.