Thinking Inside the Box

Thinking Inside the Box

Saskatchewan Minerals stays up-to-date on trends in container shipment.

Saskatchewan Minerals knows that staying on top of their business means staying on top of emerging industry trends. One such trend that could strongly impact the logistics and shipping aspects of their business is the rising popularity of domestic container shipments, which have increased 9 per cent year over year, resulting in annual gains in intermodal volumes for the past seven straight quarters.

“We always like to keep an eye on trends so we know where things are headed in the future and we’re really excited about these developments and trends in the container shipment industry,” says Anita Stettner, Regional Accounts and Logistics Manager. She describes the trend as a dynamic shift in how products are being moved domestically.

Always carrying a full load

“Previously, containers were being unloaded domestically, and then travelling empty back to another port or destination,” says Stettner. “Now we’re seeing these containers being reloaded and used to ship products domestically, which helps to decongest highways and lower CO2 emissions.”

And it’s not just roadways that are being decongested by these innovations. Stettner explains how congestion in the Chicago freight yard can back up shipments all the way to Moose Jaw. She points to CSX, one of North America’s largest rail-based transportation suppliers and its advances at its facility just outside of Toledo, Ohio which has helped decongest Chicago to keep freight moving efficiently.

“CSX has done a lot of research and work in this area, and their innovations in container shipment transportation have even helped our bulk loads leaving Moose Jaw,” she says. “We’re seeing fewer days that railcars are sitting in Moose Jaw as a result of some of the weight being taken off Chicago yard.”

The environmental bonus of efficiency

What makes the trend towards container shipment so exciting is the number of benefits it can offer in terms of service reliability, efficiency and better transit times, as well as environmental bonuses that are like icing on the cake.

“Any time we can do something that helps the environment, like reducing CO2, it’s just a huge gain for everyone,” says Stettner.

Container shipment transportation is a trend worth watching and you can be sure that Saskatchewan Minerals is keeping it in their sights.

“Right now we’re watching the trends, researching and learning about the processes, so we can position ourselves to connect with these carriers and service our customers in the best way possible in the years ahead,” says Stettner.

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