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Intermodal Railroad



Intermodal Railroad


Railroad providing intermodal services to domestic and international shippers needed help to increase capacity to meet growing customer demand in the international market.


  • Increase eastbound train density by 25% within two calendar quarters.
  • Increase eastbound train density by 33% within one year.


  • Reduced the overall number of trains operated in the international lanes.
  • Generated in excess of $35 million in savings and avoided large capital expenditures.
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Case Study

Maximize Railroad Capacity


A railroad providing intermodal services to domestic and international shippers enlisted The Highland Group to help increase capacity on its eastbound, double-stacked trains to meet growing customer demand in the international market.

Highland Approach

The Highland Group’s analytical team conducted a Discovery and Design process to define the optimum equipment—type and size, as well as location—to maximize hauling on the eastbound international routes. The team implemented the resulting plan and then put structures in place (management systems and defined process, roles and responsibilities) to ensure the sustainability of the operational transformation.

Actions Taken

  • Specified the “ideal” types of equipment to be used in the hauling of international container freight to maximize density.
  • Specified the minimum length of train by origin-destination city and paired to ensure the maximum amount of containers are hauled per train in a lane.
  • Implemented the use of dedicated train sets for international traffic between certain origin-destination city pairs.
  • Implemented a process for “purifying” car kind sent to international hubs to ensure the proper equipment is in place to construct maximum density trains.
  • Designed and implemented a System For Managing all the above activities at international hub terminals.
  • Assigned accountability for monitoring and reporting all the above activities to one individual.

Generated savings in excess of


achieved project payback of 44.8 to 1

Related Information

subject matter-based

Senior Consultant

Supply Chain

Laurence has more than twenty years of industry and consulting experience in all areas of supply chain management – including inventory management and procurement – and in Total Working Capital management.