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How to Measure the Total Cycle Time of a Railcar

Updated: Aug 30, 2021



A fleet of railcars is an investment and the utilization of it can be the difference between a sunk cost and competitive advantage.


Measuring total cycle time and the various stages within it is critical to understanding where improvement opportunities exist to turn railcars faster.


Even small improvements made to any of the stages within the total cycle time calculation can be significant when measured over volume and time.


Stages of the total cycle time of a railcar include:


Place Empty - at shippers facility


Release Load - shipper loads car and releases it


Load Arrive at Destination - loaded car arrives at destination which is made available by rail carrier


Place Load at Destination - customer orders in loaded car which rail carrier then places at customer facility


Release Empty - customer unloads car and releases it empty to carrier


Empty Arrive at Destination - carrier handles empty car back to shipper and makes available


Place Empty - shipper orders in empty car which rail carrier then places at shipper's facility


As a rail logistics services provider, Precision Rail Management employs experienced rail professions to deliver on our mission of creating true, sustainable economic value for our clients through managed rail transportation services. When you partner with us for your managed transportation services, you also tap into our advanced technology platform and business intelligence that will provide you with visibility into your rail logistics and fleet utilization along with improvement recommendations and strategies.


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