The two said their offering will support their customers’ rail-related logistics needs. The offerings will include services such as last mile rail delivery and interchange, switching services, rail storage and other railcar support services to include transloading, car inspections, maintenance and cleaning, general management and logistics. They are currently working to coordinate services.
Although USD Group’s customers are primarily in the midstream space, both companies are seeking to reach a broad range of rail-based customers in markets where they have logistical experience, according to company spokeswoman Mary Ellen Kilpatrick. The goal is to incentivize a more consolidated rail service platform, which could improve customers’ total rail logistics costs.
“USD Group and Railserve are already aligned and are currently developing and operating several assets across North America. This formal alliance is aimed to provide our customers a more efficient and complete combined service offering to support their rail needs on a network-wide basis,” according to Kilpatrick.
Both companies said the strategic alliance is a natural outcome of an environment that is evolving towards efficiency, especially in light of the Class I railroads’ deployment of precision scheduled railroading and as market demand grows for transloading services and first and last mile services.
“We have learned from our customers that network logistics, first- and last-mile interface and synergistic rail infrastructure development are essential considerations for maximizing cost efficiency,” according to Kilpatrick. “Class I railroads are experts in providing long-haul service to our collective customers. We are experts in ensuring the Class I interface at both rail origins and destinations are efficient, and that the rail support infrastructure needed to drive this efficiency is developed and operated in a way that maximizes the overall logistics network and our customers’ profitability.”
USD Group describes itself as a company that manages large-scale multi-modal logistics centers and energy-related midstream infrastructure across North America, while Railserve, a Marmon/Berkshire Hathaway company, provides on-site rail services such as third-party rail switching, in-plant logistics, locomotive service, track maintenance, locomotive sales and leasing and air brakes. Through its Union Tank Car unit, it offers railcar repair, inspection, cleaning and maintenance services.
“We recognize the unique environment that railroads and shippers currently operate within,” said USDG Group President and CEO Dan Borgen. “In an industry that is increasingly capacity-constrained, our strategic alliance with Railserve is one of many ways USDG is continually pursuing growth and promoting efficiency. We believe USDG and Railserve can leverage our respective organizational capabilities to tailor unique solutions.”