Category Archives: Logistics

Chicago Railroad Station Transfers

There was a “limousine/taxi” transfer service for passengers between the various Chicago stations, I believe with the blessings of the railroads.

It was called the Parmelee Transfer Company. Founded in 1853, and at some point became the “official” transfer service between Chicago stations. Interline tickets included Parmelee coupons if a transfer of stations was required. I’m not sure whether Parmelee carried checked baggage between stations, or if the railroads used their own vehicles. I believe Parmelee transfer service ceased to be provided with through tickets some time in the 1950’s. Parmelee is still in business under the name Continental Airport Express and the Parmelee family still appears to be associated with it.

Checker apparently controlled Parmelee at one point but relations seem to have been complicated and changed a lot, involving Yellow Cab (which was related to Hertz).

Checker made special vehicles for the Parmalee service, larger than their cabs, with greater luggage capacity.

Find other great stories about Chicago


Logistics News After New President Takes Over

Panama Canal overtakes Suez on Asia-US East Coast route. This makes sense….. those new locks makes it easier on shippers.

Top US trucking lobby outlines wishes for Trump administration

City officials have dropped the idea of selling the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, but are continuing to explore the possibility of a public-private partnership for the short line that handles switching for the port’s six Class I railroads.

RailAmerica for Sale, Report Says

Transport providers hold firm against attacks on NAFTA, trade pacts.

Democrats and Republicans alike are encouraged that a Trump Administration could inject freight infrastructure with a much-needed funding boost.

Steady growth in e-commerce activity is driving a surge in the parcel delivery business, and strengthening the role of EDI in processing and auditing freight payments.

The Trump administration’s plan for a broad-based regulatory rollback could shorten the duration of any future truck capacity shortfall.

Shippers, trucking companies, container lines and others are starting to get a better idea of what Trump can and can’t deliver. Ignore the armchair analysis of Trump’s campaign rhetoric.

Port Everglades Container Terminals Equipped for SOLAS Weight Verification

BROWARD COUNTY, FL – Terminal operators at Broward County’s Port Everglades say they are already equipped to help shippers handle the new international container weight verification requirements that go into effect on July 1, 2016.

Certified scales are available at several locations throughout Port Everglades to use to weigh export containers. Ocean shippers are encouraged to confirm availability and fees with their contracted marine terminal operators for compliance with the new verified gross mass (VGM) requirements.

“On-port scales, which have already been certified by the state, should help shippers meet the new requirements without services delays,” said Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director Steve Cernak. “There are still concerns about the new requirements, but the availability of scales at Port Everglades should not be one of them.”

The International Maritime Organization approved new container weight verification rules to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) that go into effect on July 1, 2016. The new rules require the shipper of a packed container, regardless of who packed the container, to verify and provide the container’s gross verified weight to the ocean carrier and port terminal representative prior to it being loaded onto a ship. A verified container weight is a condition for loading a packed container aboard a vessel for export. The vessel operator and the terminal operator are required to use verified container weights in vessel stowage plans and are prohibited from loading a packed container aboard a vessel for export if the container does not have a verified container weight.

At the crossroads of north-south and east-west trade, Broward County’s Port Everglades is Florida’s leading container port, handling more than one million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units, the industry standard measurement for container volumes) and serving as a gateway to Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Located within the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Dania Beach, Florida, Port Everglades is in the heart of one of the world’s largest consumer regions, including a constant flow of 110 million visitors statewide and 6.7 million residents within an 80-mile radius. Port Everglades has direct access to the interstate highway system and the Florida East Coast Railway’s 43-acre intermodal container transfer facility, and is closer to the Atlantic Shipping Lanes than any other Southeastern U.S. port. Ongoing capital improvements and expansion ensure that Port Everglades continues to handle future growth in container traffic. A world-class cargo handling facility, Port Everglades serves as an ideal point of entry and departure for products shipped around the world.

By: AJOT | May 17 2016 at 09:05 AM | Ports & Terminals

Beware The Shopper

Omni-channel has become a dated term. In this age of digital information available anytime and anywhere there are precious few shopping decisions being made without fact based information. A MasterCard report from 2015 shows that 8 out of 10 purchases made by retail shoppers are informed by some kind of digital information. With 80 percent of purchase decisions influenced by shopper research, their decisions about just where to buy is likely to come down to convenience and timing rather than loyalty. Omni-channel shopping is now just plain shopping.

Retailers need to be sure they are focusing on the most important factors driving their customers – information. In fact the source of information needs to begin at the source, and that source should be the manufacturer or supplier. It may be a strange environment for manufacturers but the production and dissemination of product information can’t come from a better place. But capabilities vary widely in terms of the ability of product suppliers to create, produce, and market their products.

Best Practices For Managing Quality In The Supply Chain

Yes, there are always obstacles to supply chains running perfectly.  There are for example recalls and visibility.

There are lots of good ideas around.

Here are just a few:

Broaden supplier assessments
Define clear measurement program
Invest in infrastructure that supports visibility into the supply chain
Close the quality loop with suppliers

A Risky Proposition: The ‘Regulatory Hole You Could Drive a Train Through’

A long-overlooked loophole allows railroad infrastructure to be built with virtually no local permit requirements at all


n early 2012, residents of this sleepy town began to notice an unusual amount of activity around the Grafton & Upton rail yard at the north end of town. An old barn that had stood for over a century was knocked down. Bulldozers came out, clearing the land.

The tiny 16.5-mile railroad had been nearly defunct, but was purchased in 2008 by Jon Delli Priscoli, a major local developer with a penchant for railroads; he also owns a Thomas the Tank Engine theme park 70 miles away.

At least one town official who visited the site to ask about the construction said he was told that the railroad’s activities weren’t subject to review by the town.

In December 2012, Delli Priscoli finally unveiled his plans to more than 100 residents at a meeting in the municipal gym. The railroad yard, he announced, was to become a propane transfer or “transloading” facility, meaning that propane would be brought there by rail and unloaded onto tanker trucks to be distributed. With four 120-foot long, 80,000-gallon storage tanks to be filled by up to 2,000 train tank cars a year, it would be the biggest rail propane facility in Massachusetts.

Residents were dumbfounded: The location was in the middle of a residential neighborhood, less than 2,000 feet from an elementary school and atop the town’s water supply. But, aside from an application to the state’s fire marshal (still unapproved by publication date), the railroad’s owner had not requested nor obtained, town officials say, any local permits, environmental assessments, zoning variances — or permission.

And as residents would learn, it was the railroad’s position that it didn’t have to: Being a railroad, the Grafton & Upton was exempt from any state or local law that interfered with its business, a legal doctrine known as pre-emption.

As one resident put it, “You mean we have no rights?”

Around the country, in towns as small as Grafton and as large as Philadelphia and Chicago, communities are beginning to ask the same question as the domestic energy boom makes the expansion of railway infrastructure — to host trains carrying crude oil, propane and ethanol — a profitable venture indeed.

After more than a dozen serious explosions, fires and spills around the country, those trains have become notorious. But an investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and Al Jazeera America suggests a critical part of the energy-by-rail picture has largely escaped national attention: the rail industry is exploiting historic exemptions from state and local laws to build often-massive transfer and processing stations free from virtually any permit requirements and without regard for basic laws protecting the communities in which they are based.

Railroads are exploiting a large, surprising loophole in federal regulatory law, critics say, and they are doing so with the backing of an obscure federal agency, the Surface Transportation Board, which has been quietly creating what some call a “regulation-free zone” and asserting a jurisdiction over railroads that trumps health and safety laws.

The result is a “regulatory hole you could drive a train through,” says Ginny Sinkel Kremer, an attorney who represents the town of Grafton in its legal battles against the transloading facility and the STB.

Read More of this article by By Isaiah Thompson, Al Jazeera America

Big Ships Now Welcome At PortMiami

A celebration for the completion of PortMiami’s 50/52 foot deep dredge project and on-dock intermodal rail recently took place today at PortMiami.

More than $1 billion of capital infrastructure projects are now complete, the port announced, and have transformed PortMiami to a major U.S. global gateway. They also make PortMiami the only major logistics hub south of Virginia capable of handling fully laden post-panamax vessels.

PortMiami now offers super post-panamax gantry cranes that can service cargo vessels up to 22 containers wide and up to nine containers above deck and eleven containers below. On-dock intermodal rail service in partnership with Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) today links PortMiami to 70 percent of the U.S. population in four days or less. A new fast access tunnel connects the port directly to interstate highways providing rapid turnaround time for the movement of import and export goods.

“A new big ship era is here and PortMiami is ready,” said PortMiami Director and CEO Juan M. Kuryla. “I am proud to say that PortMiami is now able to berth post-panamax ships; and we are able to expedite the movement of goods throughout Florida, the continental U.S., and the world, fast and efficiently. We are grateful to the vision of our State and local leaders for making this critical infrastructure project a reality. The completion of PortMiami’s deep dredge and intermodal on-dock rail projects cannot be overstated, PortMiami is now positioned as the most reliable, convenient and efficient global hub on the North American East Coast ready to service the world’s leading ocean carriers.”

“We congratulate our partner PortMiami on the completion of the Deep Dredge which will enable big ships to make a direct call,” said FECR President and CEO Jim Hertwig. “We have come a long way since our on-dock rail groundbreaking in July of 2011, to the completion of the port tunnel last year, and now the completion of the deep dredge. Today FECR runs daily port trains with cargo going to and from global markets that reach 70 percent of the U.S. population in four days or less including next-day service within the State of Florida and second day service throughout the southeast.”