rail car tracking

What is a CIF and what does it have to do with tracking railcars?

If you ship or receive rail shipments and attempt to track these shipments, you may have experienced the problem of not having visibility of some shipments due to your company not getting listed on the waybill or due to the way your company is listed on the waybill. You may have heard the terms "CIF"...

Getting full visibility of railcar shipments in Steelroads

If you are getting incomplete CLM (aka car location messages or sightings) data for some of your shipments and you use Steelroads*, here are some ideas that will help you increase your visibility. 1. All CLM data delivered out of Steelroads is now restricted to “Party to Waybill” (PTW) security....

The misunderstood Train ID field

Actually, if it were understood better, we would realize that this little field is actually providing some pretty rich information. Most Car Location Message (CLM) formats contain a Train ID field. This field returns several very different types of information depending on the situation. Frustrating and difficult to implement in...

Simple Railcar Fleet Sizing

There are more complex and more accurate ways to size your railcar fleet, but here is a simple way that even the most modest thinker (me) can understand. Before you use this, be sure to test it in a small situation to be sure that it works for your particular...

Get electronic waybills from railroads for railcar tracking

Electronic waybills are delivered in a file and the information is formatted in a standard way enabling computer systems to automatically import them. Coupling sighting (CLM) data with waybill data (aka shipping instructions) can be a powerful combination. For example, not only will you know where your railcars are and...

Rail Users’ Manual

The Rail User’ Manual available from The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL)  contains some basic, important, timeless, and valuable information relating to railroad railcar tracking that you may not be able to find consolidated anywhere else. The information in the manual could be more timely since the latest version that...

Getting full visibility of rail shipments

There may be situations where you want to see certain rail shipments (either in a railroad provided, third party, or in-house rail shipment tracking system), but your company is not “party to the waybill”. If you are running into this problem. Here are some options to consider. 1. You can...

Usage Cap Established For Steelroads Users

Several colleagues of mine who have sponsored Steelroads* accounts told me that today an email was sent from Railinc (creator and owner or Steelroads) informing them that the railroad sponsor of their account (more on that later) has set a cap for a certain number of trace events (CLM –...

Appending waybill elements to rail shipment tracking CLM event data may not be cost effective

If you are getting CLM event data from one of the rail industry VANs (value added networks) and they offer an option to append elements from the waybill to each CLM event record, it may seem like a simple solution, but there are numerous problems to consider first. Problem 1:...

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