As freight congestion problems continue to frustrate businesses across the U.S., supply chain execution tech firm Blume Global has launched a platform to improve freight visibility with an interline rail schedule solution, saying the tool could help companies that leverage railroad intermodal services to better coordinate cross-country freight deliveries.
Built in partnership with Union Pacific Railroad, Norfolk Southern, and CSX, Blume’s end-to-end rail freight scheduler gives users visibility around moving cargo from one railway to another. That is a critical step because cross-country freight deliveries typically require the use of at least two railways and multiple junctions, creating complex schedules that make planning a challenge, said Pervinder Johar, CEO of Blume Global.
“As many as half of all containers touch rail networks, so rail is a part of the freight congestion we’re seeing now,” Johar said. “As a technology company we can’t speed things up, but we can make the system more transparent, we can make intermodal movements more predictable, and we can create better data on what the [estimated time of arrival] is.”
While supply chain visibility providers like FourKites and Project44 also help trading partners to share precise shipment data on freight in transit, Blume said its offering boasts a more granular view of intermodal operations.
With the participation of the three major rail carriers, Blume has now mapped the EMP and UMAX container pools used by intermodal marketing companies (IMCs), Johar said. The company now looks to add more railroad schedules that will fuel its digital twin of the supply chain world, Blume Maps.
The Blume Maps tool combines intelligence about freight terminals, multi-modal schedules, and real time track and trace data to help customers plan, track, and adjust their freight shipments. The product acts an independent neutral platform that can plug in to enterprise software like an IMC’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) or a shipper’s transportation management system (TMS) software, he said.
Participating in that platform also helps the railways themselves by enabling them to share more precise supply chain data with a range of partners.
“Coordination among railroads is essential. Utilizing a neutral platform that encourages further collaboration among the rails, IMCs and other users will influence the future of all cargo deliveries,” Seana Fairchild, assistant vice president of premium marketing at Union Pacific, said in a release. “At Union Pacific, we are eager to deploy this intelligence as a means to meet increasingly higher demands from our customers.”
Blume Global has partnered with Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern and CSX to provide a single source for domestic intermodal interline schedules.— Blume Global (@Blume_Global) January 21, 2022
Know more: https://t.co/VhPIWO0SMg#digitization #intermodal #supplychaintechnology #visibility pic.twitter.com/sIyEwNoBaZ