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 Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

August 2014 · CN · Forklifts · Hyster · Lift Trucks · Maintenance · System Report · Wajax · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Capturing Labor, Space, and Accuracy Returns with AS/RS
Find out how the demand of e-commerce and digital age expectations are driving the need to automate material handling with AS/RS solutions to improve labor productivity, save space, and reduce costs associated with inaccurate picks
Download Today!
From the November 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
A new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business for the fourth time in 20 years and shorten order delivery time from 10 days to three.
10th Annual Salary Survey: The Price of Performance
Let’s put Automatic Data Capture (ADC) Technology to Work
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
The State of the DC Voice Market
A lot has changed in the last 10 years, especially in voice technology. This webinar will cover the state of the voice market, review two leading voice solutions and help you gain a better understanding of the options and capabilities available today.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
A new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business for...
Rochester Drug Cooperative: Robots ready for work
It’s still early stages, but Rochester Drug Cooperative is proving that mobile robotic piece...

System Report: Pouch sorter powers Stage’s fulfillment needs
How a hometown department store chain transformed its e-fulfillment processes with pouch sortation...
Cubing and Weighing Equipment: Measure Up
The use of cubing and weighing equipment is growing beyond dimensional weight applications.