The Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) has introduced EZ Buy, an online price quotation and booking system for the purchase of door-to-door intermodal freight moving between Southeast U.S. markets and South Florida.
An ultrasonic system to locate track defects and use of unmanned aerial vehicles for inspection of track, bridge and other freight rail infrastructure are among the technologies being explored by the railroad industry, according to a report from the Association of American Railroads.
General Electric Transportation's emissions-reducing rail systems have accumulated 100 million auto-control miles, helping the rail industry save 56 million gallons of fuel and $197m in fuel costs, as well as reducing greenhouse gases by 628 kilotons.
Nearly everything in our lives is impacted by rail, from food products to chemicals and energy. Total U.S. weekly rail freight traffic for one week in January 2015 was 548,055 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.1 percent compared with the same week last year, as reported by the Association of American Railroads.
Total intermodal shipments rose 2 percent over last year's Q1 volumes, according to the Intermodal Association of North America, despite port congestion issues that impacted international container traffic. Domestic intermodal loads grew 4.5 percent, buoyed by domestic containers, which rose 6.5 percent in a quarter-over-quarter comparison.
Cargomatic, provider of an app connecting shippers with small-fleet trucking companies, has devised an operating system aimed at alleviating congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as points beyond.
The Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE) has published a series of studies designed to understand why competition in the European railroad industry has been successfully implemented in some cases but in others has led to a decline in the modal share for rail freight.
Tracking rail carts with GPS and cellular could bring value to the rail sector; however, penetration rates on rail carts are currently very low (globally less than 50,000 in 2014), and growth is not forecasted to be very strong over the next 5 years, or even the next 10, according to ABI Research. Therefore, for the time being at least, it looks like RFID will dominate this sector.