Track and Trace Your Rail Shipments With Union Pacific on MyUPRR
Union Pacific is another Class I railroad that provides web-based tools for rail shippers and receivers to track their shipments. They package their railcar tracking tools into what is called MyUPRR. You can plan a shipment, get pricing, bill a shipment and pay for a shipment here, but this article focuses on the Trace section. If you have been thinking about using MyUPRR rail shipment tracing tools or you have been using just a small part of it and would like to learn more about what it can do, please read on.
To sign up for MyUPRR, take a look at this article, which explains how to sign up for most of the Class I railroad track & trace tools.
Copy and paste a list of railcars to track and trace
Upon first logging in to MyUPRR, you will see the menus at the top of the window. When you click on the Trace > Equipment Trace menu you will have the opportunity to paste up to 300 railcar (or other equipment moving on the railroad) IDs. You may choose from your 10 most recent traces or a list that has been saved instead of pasting railcars every time.
The trace results will not show the last reported event if it is on another railroad – even if UP is in the route; it may show an estimated time of arrival at the final destination (actual placement at industry). My experience is that this information was more complete for loads than empties. If the railcar is on UP, and another railroad will be taking the railcar to the final destination, it will show another line displaying the Estimated Time of Interchange (ETI) with that other railroad.
By clicking on the More Information link for a trace record, it will expand and show Accomplished Events (events in the past) on all railroads in the route and the remaining Scheduled Events on the UP; the scheduled events on other railroads was limited.
From this results page, you can also perform some other actions such as create a service issue that is sent to UP customer service, divert the shipment, and order-in or release the railcar.
From the Ship > Waybill History menu, you can paste up to 10 railcars and retrieve up to 1 year of waybills. There is an option to see the movement history for each waybill including events on other railroads in the route. There is no way that you can enter a railcar ID and see 1 year of history all at once. To do this, you would need to expand the history for each waybill, copy the events (highlight all of the columns and rows by dragging across the data grid from the top left corner to the bottom right corner and right mouse click and click the Copy menu) and paste them into a spreadsheet. The columns and rows are preserved after pasting, at least in Microsoft Excel. One problem with the Waybill History page is there is no way to navigate back to the My Home page to access the other applications other than clicking your browser back button, which is time consuming if you have been running a lot of queries on the Waybill History page.
Estimated times of arrival can be found on the Equipment Trace (see above) and on MyReports (see Custom Reports section below).
If you require consistent ETAs to final destination that are provided from the beginning of the shipment all the way to the reaching the customer, you may want to consider a 3rd party rail shipment tracking system. This article discusses the types of features you can expect from these types of systems. This article discusses the cost of such systems. The sponsor of this Learning Center offers such a system and you can find out about it here.
From Trace > Equipment trace results and from Custom Reports that display the Equipment ID (railcar initial / number) field, you will be able to click to display the Scheduled Events that remain for the trip. The scheduled events, if on railroads other than UP, were limited.
From the Trace > Train Inquiry menu, you can enter a UP train ID and see its Accomplished Events and Scheduled Events. By clicking on the train ID link, it will open a page that shows a list of all the railcars / equipment on the train. This may be printed or exported to Excel.
The Equipment Trace results has a train ID link that when clicked will take you to the summary and detail of the entire train as well. The page looks more updated than the Trace > Train Inquiry page and I like it better.
The MyReports page gives you the ability to create new reports from scratch. This page is accessible from the Trace > Reports & Business Assistant menu.
The Reports & Business Assistant is being phased out in favor of MyReports. MyReports are accessible by clicking on the link as shown below after you navigate to the Trace > Reports & Business Assistant page. If you don’t see the link shown below when you first open the Reports & Business Assistant page, call UP customer service (from the My Home page, click on the Support > Contact Support menu to get the number and hours of service) and request the agent to modify your security roles to provide access to MyReports. You will have to log out and log back in after they make the change. This will give you more functionality so it is well worth the effort.
When you arrive on the MyReports page, click on the My Reports tab and click the “Create a New Report” link. The first step is to select from the 69 available fields. To filter the report, click the Filter link and click the Add Filter link next to the field that you wish to apply the filter – this will open a pop up window where you will define the filter and click the Save button. Do not click the “Select Filter at Runtime” checkbox if you are going to schedule the report for automatic delivery. When focus returns to the Select Filter Options page, be sure to scroll down and click the Save button otherwise your filter will not be applied to the report.
You can sort by any of the 69 fields even if they do not display on the report. Up to 3 fields that display on the report can be used for grouping. Reports may be run or scheduled for delivery via email daily or weekly. The delivery times are two hour windows.
You can choose to display the report with the map, be patient it takes a little while – my report with 5 railcars took about 1 minute to display. It was a little confusing since the page was blank and no progress indicator. There was a link labeled View Full Report, I clicked on that and the report details were displayed below the map.
The report may be re-sorted after it is displayed by clicking on the arrows to the right of each field name. You may also enter a filter to further filter the results. There is a text box below each column title. Enter a filter expression such as a commodity code of “4935240” in the text box below the Commodity Code column title, then tab your cursor out of the text box or click the button labeled “Filters/Sorting” and the results will refresh limited by the newly added filter as well as any filters saved with the report.
The Equipment ID (railcar iniitial/number) field has a drop down menu that can be clicked to display sub menus that may be used to divert, map, order in for placement, log a service issue, or trace, which will show expanded billing information as well as accomplished events of the trip and scheduled remaining events of the trip.
Reports can be shared, exported to Excel, and copied to make other reports.
Automated Delivery of Reports
This can be done in several different ways. My Notifications, from the Trace menu, is a handy little tool where you can choose to be notified via email or text when any railcars encounter a certain event such as Constructive Placement or Bad Order. Custom reports can be delivered via schedule – see the Custom Reports section above for more explanation.
Click on the Union Pacific logo in the upper right corner of the window to return to the MyUPRR main menu.
When tracing railcars on the Trace > Equipment page, there is a link on each individual trace record where you can open a map with the location of the single railcar. The default view is very close up, I would have preferred it to be a bit more zoomed out to get a better understanding of the location of the shipment. The map page is easy to read, displays quickly, shows the origin (green dot), destination (red dot), and current location (blue dot). This is a bit nicer than the other railroad mapping features, but I found myself really wanting to be able to see where all of my railcars are on the same page. To do this, you must create a custom report in the My Report section (see the Custom Reports section above).
When multiple railcars are displayed on a map, the legend is a bit different:
- Red dot = On Train
- Green dot = In Yard
- Blue dot = At Industry
- Pink dot = Offline
- Yellow dot = Other
- Black dot = Combo (multiple cars together)
Here is an example of what the map will look like with multiple railcars:
Clicking on the dots beckons a pop up window with the name of the station city and location codes. Unfortunately, the railcar / equipment IDs are not listed.
Transit Times & Dwell Times
There are no reports that summarize transit time and dwell time per trip.
If you want reports that show transit time from origin to final destination on all railroads in North America, transit time for each railroad segment, and dwell times at origin and destination you may want to consider a 3rd party rail shipment tracking system. This article discusses the types of features you can expect from these types of systems. This article discusses the cost of such systems. The sponsor of this Learning Center offers such a system and you can find out about it here.
Throughout the system, I didn’t notice too many delays. Displaying a custom report with about 50 railcars took about 1 minute to display and the map takes about the same amount of time with no indicator of progress, so be patient.
Ease of Use
Overall, the site is pretty easy to use and you can figure out most things without a user manual. At first the UI looked very modern and user friendly. However, after clicking into one of the trace applications, I felt like I was going back in time with a much less intuitive UI. Also, it was a little confusing on how to access the other applications since the menus were completely different.
By clicking the MyUPRR logo, you will be returned to the friendly, modern UI; if that is not available, you will need to click on the Home menu; if that is not available then the red, white and blue Union Pacific logo will take you back to the MyUPRR menu. If the MyUPRR logo is displayed and you click on the red, white and blue Union Pacific logo, it will take you to the UP company home page.
You are supposed to be able to drag and drop application menus into the My Favorites section, but I was only able to get one application shortcut to persist in this section that way. I had better luck opening the application and then going back to the MyUPRR menu and dragging the application icon from the Recent section to the My Favorites section. You need to drag the icon barely to the right or left of the existing icon(s). It seems that the site is in transition with the railroad updating a few pages at a time.
I hope that you have found this article useful. If you have experience with MyUPRR, please share your experience and/or any tips and tricks.
All the best,