In the world of freight transportation, ocean and air shipping play a significant role in the logistics industry, but there’s another mode that is often underestimated – rail.
Rail freight transportation has experienced downtime since the 1980’s. The logistics world is changing, and it seems like rail is making a major comeback these days. New technology and innovations are disrupting every industry and all transportation modes.
There are various changes and shifts in the logistics industry, that results in new demands and the need to deploy various transportation modes. Problems in the industry, such as the rising demand of capacity, gas emissions, and the aging generation of drivers are the main issues many logistics professionals face. Using rail transportation for your freight can probably solve some of these problems.
According to the Association of American Railroads, the rate of accidents on railroads decreased by 23% since 1980. There are constantly more investments being made into rail infrastructure that are increasing the safety and efficiency of rail transportation. Rail offers a higher safety level because of less human involvement and the absence of highway congestion. Various technologies are being applied to improve safety, one of them being Positive Train Control (PTC) – an automated system that slows or stops the train in the case of possible accident or human error.
New technology innovations in rail transportation are at the peak of development. Automation, driver-less trains, big data, IoT and artificial intelligence are all new tools impacting rail transportation. For example, the automated system PTC is already used by 83.2% of the required Class I route miles nationwide and will be fully active by 2020. Many efforts are driven towards eliminating human labor and human errors.
The most obvious advantage of rail over trucking is being less harmful to the environment. Rail can handle a much higher volume of freight and goes through a solid route than other transportation methods. Also, automation and faster transit times, in general, cause fewer carbon emissions into the environment.
Ultimately, rail can be a great logistics solution for your business. It is constantly developing into a better way to transport goods and is a eco-friendly and efficient solution among other transportation methods for your freight.