CN: Mobile cranes help train keep a rollin’

Canada’s largest rail operator has developed a new parts management and maintenance program to reduce the downtime of mobile cranes at its intermodal terminals.

By ·

For deliveries that positively, absolutely have to get there, rail may not be the first mode of transportation that comes to mind. Most of us think of freight trains lumbering across the prairie to deliver grain, coal or other commodities that get there when they get there. Yet, talk to Gordon Graham, senior manager of intermodal development for CN, and you learn that rail is now an integral link in today’s time-sensitive supply chains. “We’re not like your father’s train,” Graham explains. “Customers ship with us because of the quality of the level of service we provide.”

Service has become a critical enabler of CN’s success in recent years. “We are trying to grow opportunities by providing a reliable service that gets a container delivered when it’s committed to get it there,” Graham says. In fact, rail is increasingly an important link between trucks and ports in retail supply chains, just-in-time manufacturing and parcel delivery.

To make that transition, reliability is a key selling point. A customer trusts that his containers will arrive at an intermodal terminal in time to be transferred from a rail car to a truck, or vice versa, to get to the next point in their journey on time. For that reason, the mobile cranes, also known as reach stackers, that handle containers at CN’s network of intermodal terminals have to be available when they’re needed. To minimize downtime and ensure that critical parts are available, CN has developed a program with one of its mobile crane providers (Hyster, http://www.hyster.com) and their distributor (Wajax, http://www.wajax.com) to manage critical parts, especially expensive parts with long lead times.

To read the complete article, please click here.


About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
How Lean is your Lean Quality Program?
Avoid quality program bureaucracy that can sap logistics productivity and increase costs
Download Today!
From the September 2016 Issue
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and organizational structure—finds many companies waiting to commit to a strategic path. However, waiting too long will only result in a competitive disadvantage that will be difficult to overcome in today’s fast-paced, global economy.
Time for Asia’s ports to rebuild
Is the freight recession upon us…again?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Supply Chain Best Practices: Visibility to In-Transit Inventory
During this webcast you'll learn on how various organizations have gained instant access to in-transit parcels and given access to this information to stakeholders.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...
2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...

Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....