CANADIAN Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) has become the third Class 1 freight railway and 10th overall member of RailPulse, a cross-industry coalition of companies seeking to optimise the collection and use of data on wagon performance to improve service on the North American network.

CPKC joins fellow Class 1s and RailPulse founding members Norfolk Southern (NS) and Union Pacific (UP), along with other founders GATX, Genesee & Wyoming, TrinityRail, and Watco Companies. The coalition was formed in 2020 and was later joined by Railroad Development Corporation (RDC) and The Greenbrier Companies.

Bunge North America was also confirmed as a member of the group on January 29. The agribusiness company is the first wagon-owning shipping company to join RailPulse.

Mr Mike McClellan, RailPulse board chair and NS senior vice-president and chief strategy officer, says that “CPKC brings a breadth of railroading knowledge to the table.”

“The insights that CPKC will be able to contribute from operating in three countries will be invaluable as we drive RailPulse to serve all of North America,” he says.

CPKC executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, Mr John Brooks, says that joining RailPulse “aligns with our commitment to innovation and will play an important role in modernising our customer experience and provide benefits to the entire supply chain by advancing safety and improving operations.”

Similarly, Bunge’s director of supply chain, North American rail, Mr Terry McDermott, says RailPulse’s open-architecture platform “aligns with our vision of harnessing technology to improve operational efficiencies, optimise supply chain performance, and ultimately better serve our customers.”

According to the coalition, the key objectives of RailPulse include:

  • Industry-wide telematics infrastructure: the initiative facilitates collaboration among industry players by creating a secure, trusted, standardised, and vendor-neutral wagon telematics infrastructure that spans the entire North American rail freight industry.
  • data-driven transformation: by building an information infrastructure that harnesses data from GPS and wagon-mounted sensors, and prioritising data standardisation and storage in the cloud, RailPulse focuses on delivering actionable insights enabling enhanced service levels, visibility, safety, sustainability, and productivity, and
  • enhanced service through visibility: through RailPulse, the integration of telematic sensors on wagons enables the generation of valuable data, empowering shippers with real-time visibility of wagon and consignment movements to make informed decisions and optimise their operations.

Mr David Shannon, general manager of RailPulse, told IRJ last year that the objective is to “pull the wraps” off RailPulse in the second quarter of this year, at which point it will be available as a commercial offer to any wagon owner who wants to join.

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