From a strong field of submissions, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) has chosen to recognize four member railroads for excellence in business development and execution of growth strategies in partnership with customers, and local area economic development authorities.
The 2021 Business Development Award winners are: ...http://files.aslrra.org/images/news_fil ... inners.pdf
Pan Am Railways - Grows Business by Reimagining Supply Chain for Nine Dragons Export
With Maine’s paper industry suffering from the shift from print to digital media, new opportunities for mills needed to be identified. Enter Pan Am’s customer Nine Dragons Paper, the largest Chinese paper exporter, including old corrugated cardboard (OCC) from America to make recycled pulp for containerboard in Asia. New Chinese purity standards on imported OCC forced Nine Dragons to develop a new plan: making recycled wood pulp from U.S. OCC and virgin fiber, involving buying four paper mills to be retrofitted for this purpose on the Pan Am line.
Pan Am realized that, with most recycling centers lacking rail service, the Nine Dragons plan would likely be achieved with trucks bringing in OCC to be processed, and then being re-filled with pulp for export. To capture that business, Pan Am needed to make the two-way balanced move work – something they were able to do through coordination with multiple companies. Moreover, a solution would need to be scalable to match Nine Dragons’ intended production of 1.5 million tons of pulp for export.
Some of the steps necessary to meet customer needs included:
• Identifying a cross dock opportunity near the Massachusetts Port Authority’s Conley Terminal, which lacked direct rail access, for outbound shipments of pulp for export.
• Finding additional land for the expansion of the purchased mills to accommodate production goals, ultimately supplied by Pan Am with the sale of land and yard at Rumford, Mass.
• Onboarding a cross-docking facility with building and track upgrades facilitated by grant money from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Industrial Rail Access Program (MassDOT IRAP), and hiring Mid-States Packaging & Distribution to operate the warehouse.
• Working alongside Nine Dragons through the plant conversions in preparation for inbound rail movement of scrap paper.
In November 2020, Pan Am moved its first return loads of scrap paper to a Nine Dragons mill. In two months that volume increased to 70 cars, and the number of incoming and outgoing shipments finally matched. This balanced move continues to grow in 2021, and Pan Am expects to handle 1500 carloads this year, with an eye toward expanding service to a warehouse near the Port of New York and New Jersey to match increased production by Nine Dragons.