Global chemical manufacturer improves operational efficiencies through rail expansion

in Case Study

Client is a land-locked chemical manufacturer with dynamic and increasing shift-to-shift requirements for intra-site railcar switching to/from multiple loading facilities. PLG performed rail operations and infrastructure assessments to support the options analysis and subsequent funding processes for new/improved rail infrastructure at the two plants. The rail assessments will primarily address the plant #1 needs for overall rail operations efficiency increases related to hopper car switching, storage, inspections, repairs, weighing, cleaning, transloading, and product heel management. In collaboration with Client teams, PLG Consulting completed the project’s objectives and deliverables for rail assessments, capacity/capability options, planned daily rail operations, and total installed cost (TIC) estimate.

Services Provided

  • Assessed the current plant site rail intra-plant switching processes and performance
  • Clarified and influenced plant clearance radius requirements for multiple flares
  • Evaluated and designed options for the aggregate and compounded rail infrastructure implications of the emerging plant rail operations resulting from debottlenecking, plant expansion, increasing on-site railcar storage capacity, expanded hopper car cleaning and increased transloading capability
  • Developed, documented, and sequenced the construction work packages, by design option, to provide construction options that would enable minimal disruption to plant daily operations


  • Completed the options analyses and conceptual drawings for Total Installed Cost (TIC) at +/-25% accuracy
  • Delivered cost-effective Plant #1 rail operations efficiencies that enabled production debottlenecking capacity expansions with improved plant-to-SIT railcar switching capabilities
  • Delivered high-efficiency circular flow to/through railcar inspection tracks and wash racks plus segregated rail operations to each loading facility and to the expanded railcar-to-trailer transloading infrastructure
  • Exceeded the targeted increase of on-site railcar storage capacity (360 vs. 315) for hopper cars and tank cars with improved aggregate security of railcar availability and reduced reliance on off-site storage capacity

    We are a bulk logistics and supply chain consulting firm who delivers customized and practical solutions to the industrial economy. Over 200 of the world’s most admired shippers, transportation service providers and PE firms trust us to help solve their complex logistics and supply chain challenges.


    100 S. State Street 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60603 USA


    +1 312-957-7757