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Could rail overtake road as the mode of choice in North America?

One of the world’s leading market analysis companies predicts that North American rail freight volumes will grow by 5.57% annually between 2017 and 2021. Technavio’s report identifies the environmental, time and cost benefits of rail freight as being key drivers however, we also know that the current shortage of drivers in the road freight sector is further accelerating the shift from road to rail. The current chronic shortage of drivers is predicted to treble by 2026. This is pushing up wage costs which, combined with increasing fuel costs and traffic congestion, is making rail look more attractive than ever.

As America’s economy grows, freight volumes will follow. Recent forecasts from the Federal Highway Administration predict that total US freight shipments will rise from an estimated 17.7 billion tons in 2016 to 24.2 billion tons in 2040 — a 37% increase. This surge in demand will be a huge opportunity for rail to make significant inroads into the 68% share of US freight currently travelling by truck.

To capitalise on these exciting opportunities, rail must invest in its network and freight handling infrastructure. That’s a challenge for an industry in which capital expenditure is around six times higher (as a proportion of revenue) than the average manufacturing business. But rail companies have been steadily committing more and more to create a system that is the envy of the world. $660 billion has been spent since 1980 and this is rising fast with record amounts being committed every year.

This state-of-the art transport network promises businesses significant reductions  in total cost of ownership (TCO) through time and cost savings in their logistics. It’s a trend that Cordstrap have been quick to recognise and we have worked closely with the Association of American Railroads (AAR) to develop a fully accredited portfolio of rail cargo securing solutions for all key applications. What’s more, that accreditation means your shipments are automatically insured by the AAR. 

Our accreditation includes systems for those hazardous and bulky shipments most likely to be inspected and rejected if they don’t meet the AAR’s stringent regulations. Intermodal containers are occupying a growing share of rail freight and Cordstrap CornerLash is one of only two systems that have earned AAR approval. That’s quite an achievement when you know that rail freight must be secured to withstand forces of up to 4G. Cordstrap’s lashing products are also approved to secure open loads and can reduce the risks to logistics operatives associated with steel banding.

Helping you secure the efficiencies of an advanced rail network isn’t the only way Cordstrap can help you reduce TCO. Our securing systems are designed to be applied faster, using less manpower and more consistently so we can deliver efficiencies before your freight moves an inch.  

If you’d like to explore how our AAR approved solutions could help you bring down TCO and raise your environmental performance, click here.

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