In this article, we’ll explain the ins and outs of railcar unloading. We’ll also talk about the challenges of the unloading process and some of the logistics solutions we can provide. Read on for our complete guide to railcar unloading!
Benefits of Rail Siding Warehouses
You need to consider your options carefully when choosing a service for your warehouse operations. Some warehouses cater exclusively to truck shipments, while others offer rail siding services. To better understand why you should choose a rail siding warehouse, consider the benefits.
Less Fuel Consumption
Railcars can carry much more cargo than box trucks. By using railcars to ship your product, you will spend less on fuel and reduce your business’s emissions. Rail siding warehouses also allow trains to come directly to the warehouse. This can reduce or eliminate your reliance on more costly trucking companies.
Trains are a more reliable way to transport your shipments since they are less affected by weather and traffic. In addition to cost, trains can be a more efficient transport system than trucks. Using a warehouse that offers railcar unloading is a great way to ensure more reliable transport.
While railcars have advantages over trucks, it’s common for businesses to use both. Most rail siding warehouses will generally cater to railcars and trucks. Having the option to choose any system of transport offers you more flexibility. You can send a railcar straight to the warehouse, or use railcars for long distances and trucks for the final leg. A railcar may not be right for your business, but having the option is great in case your company needs to switch.
Because a railcar goes right to a rail siding warehouse, your product is less exposed to the elements in unloading. In particular, an enclosed unloading system keeps your product out of the elements.
Common Mistakes in Railcar Unloading
Everyone makes mistakes, but unloading railcars is one of the worst times for an accident. Improperly unloading freight can cause damage to the railcar and your shipment. Additionally, not unloading railcars the right way presents serious safety hazards. These are some of the things a warehouse should always avoid when unloading railcars.
Unloading a shipment doesn’t just require one machine. Railcar unloaders have to use all types of equipment to do their job correctly. An unloader can use equipment like forklifts, clamp trucks, and railcar openers. All this heavy equipment is dangerous if misused and requires extensive training. A poorly trained unloader could cause damage or get someone hurt by using equipment improperly.
Lack of Communication
Warehouse operations are complex and often involve multiple tasks at the same time. To make rail logistics easier, a warehouse team needs a good communication system in place. In addition to verbally, teams can communicate using hand signals and signage.
Hand signals are useful if unloaders are far apart or in a loud environment. Signs and flags are a simple and easy way to mark areas and equipment. Warehouse teams that don’t communicate well can wreak all kinds of havoc on logistics. Shipments can be stored improperly or mixed up, and accidents are more likely.
Choosing the Best Rail Siding Warehouse
Once you’ve decided to start using a rail siding warehouse, you need to choose the one that’s right for you. You may be overwhelmed by all the options available. To help you make the right choice, we’ve put together some tips for what to keep in mind. Consider all of these important factors when choosing a rail siding warehouse.
Probably the most important factor in your decision should be location. Consider where your customers are, and how far away the warehouse is from your facility. Choosing a centrally located warehouse will save transportation time and fuel consumption. Together, these benefits will save your business money.
Once you’ve narrowed down a location, you’ll want to consider the warehouse itself. Decide if it meets your storage requirements. Some possible storage requirements you might think about include storage space, temperature, and fire protection. Keep in mind what a warehouse will need to store your products properly.
Lastly, you’ll want to make your choice based on the services offered by the warehouse. You may want more specialized services such as 24 hour operation or additional security. Not all rail siding warehouses offer the same services, so make sure they do everything you need. Once you’re sure the warehouse will meet your needs, you can feel confident in your selection.
Make Sure Your Railcars are Unloaded Correctly
Railcar unloading is an important part of any business that uses rail transport. Your warehousing solutions are just as important as your rail freight shipping. If you still have questions about your transport operations, we can help. Contact us today for more information on warehousing, logistics, and rail siding services!