How Does Inbound Rail Work?

One of the many features that sets Clark Logistics Services’ capabilities apart from other 3PLs is our ability to handle inbound rail at our facilities. Our building’s direct access to St. Louis’s Terminal Railroad allows you to ship product directly to us via train, eliminating the need to offload good unnecessarily.

Traditional Rail Supply Chains

Many items are shipped by rail at least part of the way. For instance, in a traditional intermodal supply chain, goods might start out in a shipping container, transiting the Pacific to a west coast port. At that port, the container could be placed right on a flatbed car for rail shipping to its intermediate destination. Once the flatbed reaches the depot, the container can either get unloaded into a waiting truck for delivery to a distribution center or it can be loaded, as-is, onto a flatbed truck for delivery to the warehouse or 3PL from which it then gets sent to its final destination.

The Inbound Rail Difference

When your company chooses to use Clark as its 3PL, it eliminates the transloading stage where the items on the rail car end up on a truck for delivery to the distribution center. Our facilities support inbound rail. This means that you can leave your goods on the rail car and have the railroad deliver the car directly to our facility. Our distribution facility can then handle unloading the car and either warehousing the items or placing them on outbound trucks for their final destinations.

Using our inbound rail services bring three key advantages to improve your supply chain:

  1. It eliminates the time required to move goods from the rail car to the truck as well as any waiting time that may be introduced by the process.
  2. It eliminates the risk of damage or loss that always comes into play with any change of transportation mode. This risk is especially acute when the items have to be unloaded from the railcar or container and placed a truck.
  3. It eliminates the cost of the transloading process.

St. Louis’s Terminal Railroad

We are able to provide you with inbound rail service because of our relationship with St. Louis’s Terminal Railroad. Since 1889, this railroad service has been connecting the tracks of the major railroads to logistics facilities throughout St. Louis. Its rail yard handles over 30,000 railcars per month with capacity of up to 2,200 cars at any one time and employs 30 different locomotives both to switch cars within the yard as well as to deliver them to area facilities.

To learn more about how support for inbound rail can speed delivery times and lower supply chain costs, contact us. We look forward to helping you with your 3PL needs.

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