Rail Cargo Facts and Figures

May 10, 2023Blog, Rail

“Leaving on that midnight train to Georgia”—or anywhere else, for that matter—is a great way to travel and a method that is often overlooked but incredibly useful in logistics. It can help speed up the transportation process and reduce costs, ultimately benefiting all involved. We’ve recently discussed the roads, the air, and the oceans, so now it’s time to talk about the rails!

Benefits of Rail Cargo

Using trains to move freight can be a great solution for specific cargo needs. Let’s examine five key benefits that you can achieve by shipping via railroads:

  1. Increased efficiency: Rail transportation can result in significant savings in several areas, like reducing fuel consumption and the need for handling and storage resources. Shipping by train is also often seen as a more ecofriendly option, so it can be beneficial for organizations who value greener supply chains.
  2. Cost savings: Transportation costs are typically lower with rail due to the strict schedules and larger quantities of products that can be moved at once, as compared to other land methods. Rail cars can hold a large volume of goods, which leads to cost savings when handling products in a warehouse or distribution center.
  3. Reduced risk: Relying on the rail can significantly reduce the chances of accidents, shipping errors, and/or theft. This can also help protect organizations’ goods and reputations, which as we know, are vital for maintaining customer trust and loyalty.
  4. Easy adaptability: Rail cars can offer unique benefits and be more flexible in shipping oversized products such as building materials, which can be more easily transported in specialized rail cars like A-Frames. Additionally, rail cars can carry significantly more weight than trucks and trailers, making them an ideal choice for shipping large quantities of heavy products, like paper or canned goods.

Rail Cargo Fun Facts

Check out some of these great facts about rail. Maybe you can impress your coworkers with your railroad knowledge.

  • The first steam locomotive capable of hauling passengers was built in England in 1804.
  • The longest train ever recorded was over 4.5 miles (7.3 km) long and had 682 cars.
  • The world’s steepest railroad is the Pilatus Railway in Switzerland, which has a gradient of up to 48%.
  • According to the International Railway Journal, as of 2021, there are approximately 1.2 million miles (1.9 million kilometers) of train tracks in the world.
  • The Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia is the longest railway in the world, stretching over 5,772 miles (9,289 km).
  • The fastest train in the world is the Shanghai Maglev, which can reach speeds of up to 267 miles per hour (431 km/h).
  • The oldest continuously operating railroad in the United States is the B&O Railroad, which was founded in 1827.

Utilizing rail transportation can offer several benefits for your supply chain. From saving money and reducing risks to being more efficient and environmentally friendly, rail logistics can assist your organization. We’d love to delve more deeply into how shipping by rail may be useful for your organization. Please chat with your TOC Logistics rep or reach out to us directly. We’re always here to support and to help you stay on track!


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