Rail Transportation and Logistics

Rail transportation and logistics is at the heart of PLG’s strength, and our veterans have rail industry experience from the shipper, carrier, and engineering perspectives. Our team has the knowledge and expertise to collaborate with you in all aspects of rail.

  • Diagnostic Assessments
  • Rail Process Improvement
  • Negotiations Support
  • Industrial Rail Design
  • Rail Management Systems Assessment and Selection
  • Rate Analysis and Benchmarking
  • Fleet Analysis and Procurement
  • Network Design and Strategy
  • Site Selection and Conceptual Development

 

Experience

railroad holding company

The client is a North American regional/short line railroad holding company that also provides transload and facility operations services. Client needed strategic research and detailed information that would drive actionable business development and expansion opportunities within the Client’s core short line and regional freight railroad businesses. Client was especially interested in new opportunities presented by the North American energy revolution and potential US manufacturing expansion in the coming five years.

Scope of services

  • Strategic research and detailed information that drove actionable business development and expansion opportunities within the client’s core short line and regional freight railroad business with special emphasis on hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGLs), frac sand and transmission pipe
  • Analyses of the North American transportation supply / capacity dynamics so as to target client-accessible opportunities in the areas of chemical, petrochemical and downstream industry sectors with a focus on the HGL markets; predicted manufacturing expansion impact; potential geographic expansion opportunities
  • Identification, testing and proposal of strategic options that best leverage the client’s core competencies, competitive advantages, and market opportunities, working collaboratively with client leadership to vet and challenge each option to select the most feasible and profitable option or aggregation of options

PLG Expert Analysis and Results

Identified nineteen (19) tested, actionable business development and expansion opportunities in the areas of:

  • Product-specific transload facilities (crude oil, condensates, diesel exhaust fluids and sand)
  • Multi-use transload facilities, including one anchored by transmission pipe distribution and services
  • Multi-modal facilities, incorporating rail (bulk and intermodal), truck and waterborne

U.S. Heavy Crude Refinery

The client is a U.S. refinery that traditionally had received their crude oil via ship or barge and was beginning to receive crude-by-rail from western Canada. Client needed rail commercial, operational, regulatory and compliance advice in order to ramp up their incoming crude volume safely and with more efficiency. PLG worked with Client on a series of progressive engagements over approximately two years.

Scope of Services

  • Comprehensive Rail Logistics Training Sessions
  • Rail Hazmat Tank Car Inspection and Reporting Training
  • Rail Management System RFP Management
  • Rail Management System Implementation Support
  • Supply Chain Assessment and Improvement Planning
  • Interviewing and Job Candidate Assessments

PLG Expert Analysis and Results

  • Provided rail logistics training/orientation to newly-formed rail logistics team, as well as subsequent sessions for additional personnel
  • Provided hazmat tank car inspection and reporting training to both operations and logistics personnel
  • Supported change-out of existing rail management system by devising and directing a Request for Proposal process, facilitating vendor evaluation and selection, and supporting implementation of the chosen system
  • Assessed the rail-based supply chain to evaluate rail ratability and provide strategic direction regarding sourcing and rail fleet sizing
  • On an ongoing basis, support the evaluation and selection of candidates for logistics positions

Expertise

The PLG Experts

Logistics

Jean Arndt

Senior Consultant

Jean is an accomplished career logistics executive with over 35 years’ experience in the rail, distribution, and transportation consulting industries. She has in-depth expertise in a wide variety of disciplines, including logistics/railroad network operations and transportation analysis; problem solving and process simplification; systems design, and development and implementation. She is PLG Consulting’s lead Project Manager for rail and petroleum related projects.

Experience

  • Director Customer Solutions & Network Management, R. R. Donnelly & Sons Co.
  • V.P. Network Support, BNSF Railway

Expertise

Rail Management Systems

Diagnostic Assessments

Rail Process Improvement

Rate & Fleet Analysis

Network Design

Benchmarking

Due Diligence

Negotiations

Crude by rail / canada

Phil Ireland

Senior Consultant

Phil Is a senior level executive in supply chain management, asset sizing, strategy and network optimization achieved by working over 30 years in Canadian Pacific Railway. He has specific experience in developing crude by rail supply chain solutions including asset optimization and terminal development. Based in Calgary, AB, he brings special expertise in Canadian oil sands crude and the associated transportation, terminal, production and refining needs.

Experience

  • Board Member, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad
  • V.P. Service Design & Asset Optimization, Canadian Pacific Railway

Expertise

Railroad Operations

NA Freight RR Network

Strategic Assessment

Strategic Planning

Due Diligence

Negotiations

Rail operations

Roger Nelson

Senior Consultant

Roger is career freight railroad executive with over 35 years of experience in Class 1, short line, and regional railroad management and ownership. He was the founder and managing partner of one of the largest short line railroad holding companies in North America. Roger has over 25 years with Burlington Northern Railroad and BNSF Railway, as an executive manager holding positions In operations, engineering, marketing, and safety.

Experience

  • President & COO, North American RailNet, Inc.
  • Executive Management, BNSF Railway
  • Vice President, Safety
  • Region Vice President, Operations

Expertise

Railroad Operations

Safety Management

Mergers & Acquisitions

Strategic Planning

Due Diligence

Contract Review

logistics

Mike Spahis

Senior Consultant

Mike is an accomplished career logistics executive with over 30 years of experience in the petroleum, chemical, and metals industries. He has in-depth knowledge in a wide variety of disciplines, including commercial and operational logistics, logistics technology, and performance metrics across all transportation modes.

Experience

  • Director of Logistics, Commercial Metals Company
  • Manager Logistics and Customer Service, Methanex Corporation
  • Manager Corporate Logistics and Distribution, FINA Oil and Chemical Company

Expertise

Petroleum, Petrochemical, and Plastics Supply Chain

Logistics Diagnostic Assessments

Common Carrier/Private Truck Fleet

Supply Chain Performance

Experience · Expertise · Excellence