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UP Intermodal Mess

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UP Intermodal Mess
Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, July 15, 2021 8:36 AM
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Posted by Ed Kyle on Thursday, July 15, 2021 8:46 AM

Wonder how much of this problem can be attributed to UP's decision to close Global 3 and to move all international boxes out of Global 2, etc.  The company was supposed to expand Global 4 and 2, but have they?

 - Ed Kyle

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Thursday, July 15, 2021 10:15 AM

"This business will get out of control"

This Business Will Get Out Of Control! - Bing video

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by diningcar on Thursday, July 15, 2021 6:15 PM

Anyone have info, or a guess, about how many boxes will be delayed; or perhaps routed to bNSF.

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Thursday, July 15, 2021 7:22 PM

Right now the BNSF is trying to dig out of a major problem itself.  They lost a bridge on the Chicago to Kansas City mainline but luckily not the other bridge for the second mainline.  However when the first one went it took out the other main for 2 days due to flooding and washout.  They are just now getting close to normal operations train wise after clearing the backlog.  

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, July 15, 2021 7:31 PM

diningcar

Anyone have info, or a guess, about how many boxes will be delayed; or perhaps routed to bNSF.

I saw the number 40,000 TEUs bandied about.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Thursday, July 15, 2021 7:39 PM

If you read the article, it says BNSF and NS have also at times used temporary embargoes when some terminals became congested.

Somewhere packed away I have a few copies of embargoes that were sent to the RI agent at Marengo IA, where I used tospend free time many years ago.  Most were due to track conditions or pending abandonments and specified railroad stations rather than specific customers.  A few however were for specific customers because of traffic congestion.

Jeff 

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Posted by diningcar on Friday, July 16, 2021 11:45 AM

Latest info is this embargo applies only to 20 and 40 foot containers; and not to 53 foot containers.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, July 16, 2021 3:39 PM

jeffhergert
If you read the article, it says BNSF and NS have also at times used temporary embargoes when some terminals became congested.

Somewhere packed away I have a few copies of embargoes that were sent to the RI agent at Marengo IA, where I used tospend free time many years ago.  Most were due to track conditions or pending abandonments and specified railroad stations rather than specific customers.  A few however were for specific customers because of traffic congestion.

Jeff 

All carriers use Embargo's for various reasons to cover various locations and/or various commodities and situations.

Back when Export Coal was approaching its peak in the late 70's and early 80's Chessie System Embargoed the unrestricted loading of coal destined to the export coal piers at Curtis Bay and Newport News.  Chessie implemented a 'Permitting System' that authorized specific mines to load X number of cars in a Y time frame.  The Permits were granted based upon the ETA's of colliers arriving at the port locations and their intended loading classes and tonnage.  The system was designed so that the coal necessary to load vessel A was active in the pipeline to the port when vessel A docked.  The port yard would have dumped all the coal necessry for the prior vessel as vessel A docks and the coal for it is arriving into the export yard and will dump on vessel A on a continuing basis until the ship is loaded - rinse and repeat for vessel B and on and on.

Before implementing the system the 1600 car capacity of Curtis Bay 'could' have 1200 cars of 'dead' coal that was not for the vessel currently at dock - creating congestion issues as vessels would normally take between 750 and 900 cars to load.  Getting 'active' coal in when the yard is populated with 'dead' coal was creating a operational nightmare.  Curtis Bay could dump 90 cars per hour - 60 on the double car 'ship' dumper and 30 cars per hour on the single car 'scow' dumper.

At the height of the coal crunch - Curtis Bay would load between 7 & 9 60K ton ocean vessels - Another vessel would get loaded on the other side of the harbor at the Chessie owned Western Maryland Port Covington Ore pier.  Scows would be loaded on the scow loader at Curtis Bay and floated across the harbor to Port Covington for the Ore Pier to tansload the scows to a ocean going vessel - it would take approximately a week for the Port Covington vessel to get loaded.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 16, 2021 4:01 PM

BaltACD
Back when Export Coal was approaching its peak in the late 70's and early 80's Chessie System Embargoed the unrestricted loading of coal destined to the export coal piers at Curtis Bay and Newport News.

Balt, you don't mention this, but were different ranks of coal involved here, either for separate shipments or being mixed to give particular characteristics?  That would further affect a pre-planning system.

That story is a classical example for How To Do Precision Scheduling Well in railroading.  (It is a pity I can't use the term 'Precision Scheduled Railroading done right'.)

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, July 16, 2021 5:13 PM

Overmod
 
BaltACD
Back when Export Coal was approaching its peak in the late 70's and early 80's Chessie System Embargoed the unrestricted loading of coal destined to the export coal piers at Curtis Bay and Newport News. 

Balt, you don't mention this, but were different ranks of coal involved here, either for separate shipments or being mixed to give particular characteristics?  That would further affect a pre-planning system. 

That story is a classical example for How To Do Precision Scheduling Well in railroading.  (It is a pity I can't use the term 'Precision Scheduled Railroading done right'.)

Each mine mined coal of specific grades based on the metalurgical contents of the coal - just because it is black, not all coal is the same.

Vessels would take anywhere from 4 to 8 grades of coal that were to be dumped in a specific rotation.  B&O at Curtis Bay named the classes of coa.  C&O at Newport News used numbers for their coal classes.

The Transhipper for the vessel would provide a loading diagram for the vessel, that would include class dumping rotation as well as the tonnage to be loaded into the holds in rotation - holds have to be loaded in part on a rotation basis so as to not put undue stresses on the keel and break the ship in two.

A loading sequence might be something like '4 Apple, 2 Cherry, 6 Apple, 1 Grape and repeat the sequence for 3400 tons in Hold 1 and potentially specifc tonnages for each hold in rotation until the vessel is loaded to its specified tonnage.  Different Transhippers had different mines as their customers and the transhippers would assign different types of names to their coal grades.  As mentioned above that transshipper used the names of fruits, other transshippers used animal names, state names etc.

Vessels at Curtis Bay in some cases would not be loaded to ships full capacity as the dredged depth of the channels serving the Port of Baltimore allowed for a 39 foot draft.  Ships that loaded 60K tons in Balimore would then sail to Newport News and load another 170K tons for the vessel's trip over the pond.  Newport News allowed vessels to have 55 foot draft.

After vessels sailed and there was 'left over' coal, it was not unheard of for one transhipper to initiate Reconsignment Orders to transfer their 'left over' coal to another transhipper.  There was a small railroad fee to cover the actions that were necessary to effect the reconsignment into the new account.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, July 16, 2021 8:49 PM

diningcar

Latest info is this embargo applies only to 20 and 40 foot containers; and not to 53 foot containers.

 

The article stated clearly it was about international containers. 

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Posted by Convicted One on Friday, July 16, 2021 9:36 PM

So they are also saying that a good deal of the problem is due to a scarcity of wheeled chassis.

Looks like we are  once again back to consideration of the wisdom of wheeled drayage of containers headed for eastern railroads?

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 1:08 PM
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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 1:33 PM
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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 2:40 PM

When there are more boxes to move than there are chassis to mount them on there will be issues.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 7:10 PM

BaltACD

When there are more boxes to move than there are chassis to mount them on there will be issues.

 

Perhaps this is what happens when the rails rely on trucking companies for endpoint connections?   I still say true vertical integration of transportation is more efficient. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 9:09 PM

charlie hebdo
 
BaltACD

When there are more boxes to move than there are chassis to mount them on there will be issues. 

Perhaps this is what happens when the rails rely on trucking companies for endpoint connections?   I still say true vertical integration of transportation is more efficient. 

It is the problem in the USA (at least) - the shortage of chassis apply at the ports as well as inland destination.  Part of the lack of chassis is the lack of drivers to move existing chassis to a point where they are needed.

The problems with Just In Time global logistics is that it doesn't take that big of a issue to put the entire system into chaos.

Vessels have been waiting to dock on the West Coast for weeks to discharge their cargo's and take on traffic.  Terminal areas on the West Coast are clogged with boxes - loaded and empty.  The Ever Given getting stuck in the Suez Canal did not help the situation. Every little hiccup sends out rings of disruption like thowing a stone into a still body of water.  With virtually every form of transportation involved in world commerce having 'right sized' their resources to the 2020 Covid depressed level of business they are now faced with a post Covid surge of business and they don't have the resources - hardware, software and manpower to handle the business.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 9:38 PM

In the original story link, part of the blame for the shortage of chassis sounds like boxes are sitting longer at customer's facilities waiting to be loaded or unloaded due to worker shortages.  While that reasoning might have a level of "passing the buck" to conditions beyond the railroad's control, there probably is some truth to it.

Everywhere you go there are help wanted signs.  Even higher paying industrial/warehousing jobs are not being filled.  Twice I've seen local commercials for some warehouse jobs for a couple of firms.  That's not unusual.  What's unusual is that they both announced their pay rates.  Usually if the say anything, it's that their pay is "competitive."  

Jeff

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 10:31 AM

This is what happens when the JIT inventory system breaks apart.  The stress marks where there long before it blew up this year.  Now that people are seeing just how dumb it is to have no real inventory in warehouses or in the backrooms.  It makes the bottom line look good if you don't have any inventory however if that delivery is late or never happens you're going to want it.  

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Posted by n012944 on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 1:56 PM

Convicted One

So they are also saying that a good deal of the problem is due to a scarcity of wheeled chassis.

Looks like we are  once again back to consideration of the wisdom of wheeled drayage of containers headed for eastern railroads?

 

 

Something the railroads have been reducing. 

http://www.nscorp.com/content/nscorp/en/shipping-tools/shipping-news-and-alerts/reminder--elimination-of-rubber-crosstown-service-for-ocean-cont.html

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Posted by MP173 on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 3:59 PM

Just to add a little more complexity....CSX train Q10, the hot Chicago - New Jersey intermodal derailed near Auburn, In. this morning, both mains blocked.

Q10 at one time was primarily a UPS and priority intermodal train, but has become two trains...an international block, typically 100-125 containers and then the domestic doublestack and TOFC train after the distributed power.  

Now...what is UPS backup plan?  No FedX on the train usually.

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Posted by n012944 on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 4:07 PM

MP173

Just to add a little more complexity....CSX train Q10, the hot Chicago - New Jersey intermodal derailed near Auburn, In. this morning, both mains blocked.

Q10 at one time was primarily a UPS and priority intermodal train, but has become two trains...an international block, typically 100-125 containers and then the domestic doublestack and TOFC train after the distributed power.  

Now...what is UPS backup plan?  No FedX on the train usually.

Ed

 

 

It will detour over the NS from Gary to Cleveland.

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 4:08 PM

Short term contracts at spot rates for owner operators willing to run team and also running it with their own drivers in relaying runs terminal to terminal.  The same thing they've done in the past during the holiday rush.  

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 4:32 PM

n012944
 
Convicted One

So they are also saying that a good deal of the problem is due to a scarcity of wheeled chassis.

Looks like we are  once again back to consideration of the wisdom of wheeled drayage of containers headed for eastern railroads? 

Something the railroads have been reducing. 

http://www.nscorp.com/content/nscorp/en/shipping-tools/shipping-news-and-alerts/reminder--elimination-of-rubber-crosstown-service-for-ocean-cont.html

Ocean boxes not being afforded rubber tire interchange through Chicago.  Domestic boxes and trailers still getting rubber tire interchange.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 7:42 PM

Ocean boxes on UP still coming into Chicago on rail. 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 8:13 PM

charlie hebdo
Ocean boxes on UP still coming into Chicago on rail. 

What NS is saying is that they will no longer 'continue' a rail move across Chicago via truck -- any interline traffic will have to remain on a train, or the shipper will have to find and pay their own drayage to another line's terminal.

That's everywhere on NS, not just in Chicago.  Prior notification was May 14/15.

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 8:28 PM

CSX dumped an intermodal train in Indiana this morning.  That can't help...

LarryWhistling
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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 8:51 PM

tree68
CSX dumped an intermodal train in Indiana this morning.  That can't help...

No, but see the earlier post about detouring Q10 at Gary.  I wouldn't think the delay would be substantial 'on' and 'off' NS especially if they can 'precision schedule' some potentially-conflicting movements to different dayparts to facilitate the detour.

Now, how much of their non-priority traffic gets detoured vs. held until at least one of the mains is open remains to be seen, but I'd suspect it won't be *that* long...

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Posted by Convicted One on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 8:55 PM

n012944
Something the railroads have been reducing.  http://www.nscorp.com/content/nscorp/en/shipping-tools/shipping-news-and-alerts/reminder--elimination-of-rubber-crosstown-service-for-ocean-cont.html

Thanks!  Yeah, that looks like the way it should be.  Too bad the Western roads can't seem to build "thru" stack trains effectively.

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