AEP River Operations: focusing on reducing its environmental impact
Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, AEP River Operations is a barge company offering high-quality service in the transportation of dry bulk commodities throughout the inland river system. This includes the movement of grain, project cargo, coal, steel, ores and other bulk products.
As a major presence in the river transportation business for nearly 40 years,AEP River Operations has earned a reputation for excellence. Its services include:
  • barge transportation and 24-hour on-call dispatch;
  • shipyard services;
  • barge cleaning and repair;
  • assistance in identifying the best combination of stevedores and terminals to meet its customers’ cost and quality objectives; and
  • project cargo logistics coordination.
AEP River Operations is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP). AEP is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States.
AEP River Operations is a fully-integrated barge line delivering over 75mt (million tonnes) of dry cargo each year. Its fleet of boats (90) and barges (3,250) operates along the Gulf Coast to as far north as Minneapolis, Chicago, and Pittsburgh and to as far south and west as Brownsville and Catoosa and points in between. The company’s headquarters is in St. Louis, Missouri with its regional operations in Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Mobile. Its boat and barge operations are in Lakin,WV and Paducah, KY with Gulf operations — including a full-service shipyard, barge cleaning and repair, fleeting and shifting, and midstream transfers.
AEP River Operations is moving with the times. Today’s growing emphasis on ‘green’ operations, and reducing the ‘carbon footprint’ of goods transported is behind the company’s decision to improve the efficiency of its water vessels with new technology to reduce its environmental impacts and operating costs. AEP captured the industry’s attention with the transformation of the Donna Rushing by adding/enhancing systems that have the least environmental impact of any towboat on the river. This vessel utilizes many first in kind technologies used in the river industry. A team effort integrated the suggestions of both AEP employees and outside agencies to achieve the final result. The boat includes many other environmentally friendly features and has influenced the choices AEP makes with all future building projects.
AEP transports a wide range of bulk and breakbulk goods, including steel, grain and grain products, sugar, fertilizer, cement, lime, limestone, alumina and aluminium, gypsum, coal, pet coke, ores, steel raw materials, scrap metals, sand, and gravel. It also transports project cargo.
One way in which AEP River Operations is able to remain competitive in a market where there are five or six fully integrated competitors is to emphasize customer service and performance. In a business
where service disruptions are a common occurrence due to water and weather conditions, AEP River Operations makes significant efforts and expends resources to educate and train its employees to help it achieve success. The company highly values the safety, health and well- being of its employees and the river vendors who provide it with port services.
Although much of the world’s economy is struggling, export of steam coal through the Gulf experienced significant growth in 2012. Coal export capability is located in a small number of coal exporting countries around the
world. Because of this, any considerable disruption at any of the major coal producers typically results in helping the US and specifically the lower Mississippi compete with steam coal exports in the global market. The lower Mississippi also benefits when the East Coast terminal capacity becomes overloaded. As India and China consume more steam coal for their energy needs and absorb production from other exporting countries, the European steam coal consumers have turned to the US to provide for their needs.
Ingram Barge Company: making a splash on US inland waterways since 1946
Ingram Barge Company (IBCO) has been a quality marine transporter on America’s inland waterways since 1946, and has grown to become a leading carrier on America’s inland waterways. IBCO owns more than 4,500 barges; those barges are powered by the industry’s best towboat fleet, which includes approximately 150 towboats that are maintained at the highest level of standards. They transport a high volume of dry bulk commodities, including coal, aggregates, grain, fertilizer, ores, alloys, and steel products, as well as liquid bulk cargoes on over 4,500 miles of America’s inland waterways system.
Ingram Barge Company is a subsidiary of Ingram Marine Group, which also includes Custom Fuel Services, which operates 11 floating fuelling stations on the Mississippi and Ohio River Systems and provides marine fuels, lubricants, and other miscellaneous services to towboats, barges, stevedoring rigs, and ships; a ship anchorage in Louisiana; and bulk commodities terminals in Florida and Kentucky.
Ingram Marine Group is part of Ingram Industries Inc., which was formed by E. Bronson Ingram from a reorganization of the family business in the late 1970s, although the Ingram’s involvement in river transportation actually dates back to the 1800s. By the time of Bronson’s death in 1995, Ingram Industries Inc. was one of the largest privately held companies in the United States and had cultivated an international reputation for excellence.
In May of 2012, Ingram Barge Company completed its acquisition of U.S. United Barge Line, LLC (‘UBL’), a barge transportation company headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Approximately 300 UBL associates joined Ingram, and 17
towboats and some 650 barges were added to the Ingram fleet. Orrin H. Ingram, chairman of the board of Ingram Barge Company, said the combined businesses will enable Ingram to continue its leadership role in the inland marine industry. Craig E. Philip, CEO of Ingram Barge Company, said the transaction underscores Ingram’s commitment to its customers and to the robust future of inland transportation.
Remaining an industry leader in environmental stewardship is a commitment Ingram Barge Company takes seriously. The company recognizes that in the coming decades, business will be conducted in a world with greater transparency, higher energy and water costs, and increasingly strained natural resources. IBCO is devoted to being part of the solution, through modal efficiency, and actively pursuing methods to reduce consumption of natural resources throughout business operations. For its customers, this means moving more cargo over greater distances, using less energy and water and creating less waste.
As a waterways transportation business, IBCO bases its livelihood directly on natural resources, vigorously engaging in sustainable practices that help protect the natural resources that allow them to do their business now and in the future.
IBCO feels its responsibility as the largest carrier on the inland waterway system is to lead in environmental sustainability. One example of this is the EPA SmartWay Program — in February 2010, Ingram Barge Company was named as one of the first marine transportation companies to be accepted as a partner in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Program. The programme requires measuring the environmental performance of a fleet, identifying goals for improving environmental performance within three years, submitting an action plan to the EPA within six months of agreement to participate, and reporting progress to the EPA annually.
CEO Craig Philip is very pleased with the progress the company is making towards becoming known for its sustainable practice. “It gives me great pleasure and pride to know that Ingram has been recognized and accepted into the EPA’s SmartWay Program as one of the first marine transportation companies,” Philip said. “Ingram is proud to be on the cutting edge of developing new policies and procedures for marine transportation companies as they relate to the environmental issues at hand. Barge transport is already the greenest mode of bulk freight transport, and we will continue to do all that we can to take care of our environment and our associates.”
IBCO also continues as a leading partner in the Responsible Care initiative, which enables the industry to operate safely, profitably and with care for future generations. In addition, IBCO has partnered with several other agencies committed to the environment, such as The Nature Conservancy and the Mississippi River Corridor.
Through its partnership with the Mississippi River Corridor- Tennessee (MRCT), Ingram participated in an air emissions reduction programme for towboats operating on the Mississippi River. Funding for the effort was awarded to MRCT, a non-profit organization that works on economic development and land and wildlife preservation in the six west Tennessee counties that border the Mississippi River, by the US Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Clean Diesel Emerging Technologies Program.
Ingram participated in the programme by retrofitting six towboats in its inland marine fleet with a unique diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) unit and closed crank case emission control system. The device fits inside the exhaust system of a towboat engine and reduces the amount of pollution resulting from burning diesel fuel. The DOC units were manufactured by Environmental Solutions Worldwide Inc., a retrofit technology provider. Testing of the units was performed by Emisstar, an energy and emissions consultancy.
Results of the programme included significant reductions in particulates, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons from exhaust emissions from the retrofitted vessels. Emissions testing has shown that the new DOC systems exhibited average particulate matter reductions of more than 40% and carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon reductions of more than 60%.
Through a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, a leading conservation organization that works around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters, Ingram Barge has made a financial commitment to support conservation efforts on lands located where Obion Creek and Bayou Du Chien flow into the Mississippi River in Fulton County, Kentucky. The Nature Conservancy will create a platform project with the potential to restore and reconnect over 18,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forests and wetlands to the Mississippi River alluvial floodplain within the next five years.
Ingram strives to set the standard and demonstrate new ways to further reduce the pollution associated with river transportation, which is already the most environmentally friendly mode of bulk freight transportation, as well as contribute to the restoration of the waterways on which they live and serve. A commitment to continuous improvement is a fundamental principle for Ingram Barge Company, and provides excellent service and value for the transportation dollar.

GB Railfreight — modern British rail freight haulier
GB Railfreight (GBRf) has, since its start in 1999, earned praise for its innovative approach, flexibility, reliability and competitiveness as well as its customer service.
GBRf’s wide ranging business portfolio includes intermodal services; bulk traffic, including coal; steel, infrastructure materials; rail industry services; construction materials; petrochemicals and metals.
GBRf has won the acclaim of colleagues and competitors alike winning a raft of rail industry awards in the decade since its founding.
GBRf is a significant contender in the UK’s biggest bulk freight market — coal — and is pioneering the movement of biomass materials on the rail network.
GBRf’s current coal operations include services run for Drax Power delivering imported coal from Port of Tyne to the company’s Yorkshire power plant and the operation of daily trains transporting coal for EDF Energy from collieries in the Midlands to the electricity generator’s West Burton and Cottam power stations in Nottinghamshire.
As well as providing customers with dedicated resources at the highest level of reliability and performance GBRf is able to respond to shorter-term enquiries for either spot or campaign coal movements. Major investment in new locomotives and efficient modern wagons specifically designed for transporting coal means GBRf is well placed to further expand its services within the rail coal transport sector.
GBRf will be the first freight operator to regularly move renewable biomass material on the rail network, following a multi-million pound contract with Drax Power Limited.
Under the deal GBRf operates biomass services from the Port of Tyne to Drax Power Station near Selby, North Yorkshire.
In order to transport the fuel, GBRf has introduced a number of specially modified coal hopper wagons, which will have covers to ensure that the biomass is kept dry while moving on the rail network.
GBRf’s considerable investment in wagons together with its policy of innovation and recruiting the ‘right people for the right job’ has built the company into a major contender in the bulk market.
GBRf’s current bulk haulage operations include the movement of dry goods for the construction industry or those requiring tank wagons.
Key to GBRf’s success has been its unique management approach, which has swept away decades of outdated working practices.
Its drivers are known as ‘train managers’ to reflect their responsibility and importance. They work flexible hours enabling services to run non-stop, utilize train sets on a 24-hour basis through to their destination and avoid disruption during engineering works and other risks to customers’ business.
GBRf’s extensive and flexible infrastructure services have made
the company a key player in the maintenance and renewal of Britain’s rail network.
Operating an extensive infrastructure wagon fleet in many parts of the country, GBRf has developed a reputation for consistently delivering a top quality service.
GBRf delivers reliably for Network Rail, operating infrastructure trains moving ballast, sleepers, rails and other materials.
It has a ten-year contract to supply engineering trains to deliver replacement rails, sleepers and ballast to possessions extensively across London Underground’s sub-surface railway including the Metropolitan and District lines.
On behalf of Network Rail GBRf also manages all operations at the infrastructure owner’s Whitemoor Yard in Cambridgeshire, where performance is among the best in the country. GBRf has worked on new railways — the Channel Tunnel Rail Link — and also runs de-icing and leaf fall services around the rail network.
The company also offers a comprehensive range of project resources for new infrastructure projects or for the refurbishment of terminals and sidings.
With an unrivalled reputation for reliability and quality of service GBRf ensures the nation’s railway infrastructure owners get the service they need.

Freightliner Heavy Haul moves over 20mt of bulk a year in the UK
As a major UK bulk rail freight company, Freightliner Heavy Haul has set new standards of reliability, flexibility and customer service in the bulk rail freight sector whilst continuing to invest in innovative solutions to meet its customers’ business needs.
The company moves over 20mt (million tonnes) of bulk freight annually, and operates 1,200 trains per week on its extensive network. The network provides services across the whole of the UK.
Freightliner Heavy Haul’s dedicated control offices operate
24/7 from two UK locations, and strategically placed train crew depots ensure high levels of reliability are achieved.
Freightliner Heavy Haul is involved in continual investment in rolling stock with a fleet of over 80 locomotives. Its brand-new PowerHaul locomotives bring greater efficiencies, and it has over 1,400 purpose-built specialized wagons that can cater for a range of market sectors.
In terms of bulk cargo, Freightliner Heavy Haul currently moves aggregates, cement, coal, infrastructure, minerals and waste.
Earlier this year, Freightliner Heavy Haul Ltd and EDF Energy have confirmed that they have entered into a new rail haulage agreement for coal deliveries into EDF Energy’s power stations at
Cottam and West Burton. The revised, long-term deal gives
EDF Energy increased capacity to meet its future requirements and builds upon the excellent service performance record and relationship that has developed over the last ten years.
Jim Beynon, Head of upstream commercial management at EDF Energy commented:“We have worked to develop this innovatively structured deal that gives us the flexibility, reliability and security that we need to meet our future coal haulage needs. Our rail requirements become increasingly challenging in the coming years and we are pleased that this deal gives us a sound basis to meet those challenges.”
Martin Wilks, director of coal and deputy managing director of Freightliner Heavy Haul Ltd added: “Our relationship with EDF Energy is longstanding and we have worked well together over the years. We have always worked very closely with customers and industry partners and this new deal represents the continuation of the strong relationship that we share with EDF Energy,
supplying haulage from UK mines and also imported coal from a number of ports.”
At the end of last year, Freightliner Heavy Haul unveiled its new prototype covered hopper wagon that has been developed for the biomass market. The wagon is a modified HHA
coal hopper wagon which has covers fitted to ensure that the product is kept dry whilst being conveyed from loading site to destination.
The wagon modification was manufactured at the WH Davies workshops at Shirebrook and offers the most advanced design covered hopper wagon in the UK biomass market. The wagon was moved from Shirebrook to the Freightliner workshops at York earlier this week and has already had viewings from several generating companies who are examining the potential for the generation of renewable power from sustainable biomass.
Michael Leadbetter, Freightliner’s general manager of coal and biomass, added “Visits by other customers are already lined up to examine the wagon. The wagon and concept has been extremely well received so far by everyone. We have worked well with the designers and manufacturers to develop this wagon. Having developed its design following consultation with the generation industry, I am now confident to inject it into the market and we will be undertaking trials with it in the near future.”
News from Canadian National Railway Company
Early this year, Canadian National Railway Company (CN) signed a 10-year agreement, effective 1 July 2012, to transport potash volumes that Canpotex ships to export markets.
CN will haul via its southern British Columbia (BC) line a portion of what Canpotex exports through CN-served Neptune Terminals in North Vancouver.
CN and Canpotex will also continue work on the feasibility of a potential new potash export gateway terminal in Prince Rupert, BC, which would be served by CN over its northern BC line. In both cases, train design will be highly efficient, utilizing distributed power locomotives pulling 170-car trains.
Jean-Jacques Ruest, CN executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, said: “We are very excited to partner with a customer like Canpotex that has such a world-class distribution system.”
Steven Dechka, president and chief executive officer of Canpotex, said: “Canpotex is focused on growth, efficiency and strategic investments. We are pleased again to be partnering with CN, a company that shares the same values and will help us achieve these objectives.”
In March, CN announced a major locomotive acquisition programme to accommodate anticipated traffic growth and to improve operational efficiency, enabling the railway to better serve its customers.
CN will acquire 65 new high-horsepower locomotives as well as 96 second-hand high-horsepower locomotives that will be upgraded.
Keith Creel, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, said: “CN’s locomotive acquisition program represents a balanced, capital-effective approach to handle expected volume growth over the next two to five years and to meet the locomotive requirements resulting from customer-focused service plans.
“The new and used motive power will enhance operational efficiency and reduce fuel consumption by permitting the
retirement of older, high-maintenance locomotives and the cascading of less fuel-efficient main-line units into less-demanding yard and local switching operations, while providing additional locomotives to accommodate increased traffic.”
CN will take delivery in 2013/14 of 35 new ES44AC locomotives from GE Transportation (GE), and 30 new SD70ACe locomotives from Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD). The GE units have 4,400 and the SD70ACe units 4,300 horsepower.
Creel added:“The programme includes the acquisition of alternating-current locomotives (AC), which will represent a first for CN. Our current fleet of approximately 1,900 locomotives employs direct-current (DC) traction technology, which has served us well because of the overall favourable grades of our network.
“We will harness the key advantage of AC traction — much higher adhesion or train-pulling ability at low speeds — in assigning the new AC units to heavy-haul coal service in northern British Columbia and Alberta, where steep grades and sharp rail curvature make heavy demands on our locomotives.”
CN will purchase this year 42 second-hand GE Dash 8-40C locomotives, 11 leased GE Dash 8-40C locomotives, and 43 second-hand EMD SD60 locomotives. The Dash 8 units have 4,000 and the SD60s 3,800 horsepower. These direct-current technology locomotives will be upgraded to CN specifications.
The new locomotives CN is purchasing are equipped with distributed power technology (DP), a GE product, which improves train handling and fuel efficiency. The company expects that 50% of its high-horsepower locomotive fleet will have DP by the end of 2013.
DP technology permits remote control of a locomotive or locomotives throughout a train from the lead control unit. DP provides faster, smoother train starts, improved braking and lower pulling forces at the head-end and within a train, contributing significantly to improved safety. With more optimum matching of motive power to train weight, DP locomotives also allow CN to reduce fuel consumption and reduce emissions.
Creel said: “A robust, fuel-efficient locomotive fleet is critical to CN’s plan to take advantage of the traffic growth we expect
in the years ahead and to ensure we have the motive-power assets to improve the supply chains of our customers and enhance their competitiveness in domestic and global markets.”
CN — Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries — spans Canada and mid- America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, BC, Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior,Wis., Green Bay,Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, St. Louis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America.
DAP Barging: dependable, expert service over Europe’s waterways
DAP Barging, headquartered in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, is a major company involved in barging activities in Europe.
The company concentrates its activities on the following European (river) waterways:
  • Rhine;
  • Mosel/Saar;
  • Neckar;
  • Main;and
  • Ruhr and German canals
DAP Barging offers a comprehensive service, and takes care of all aspects in the transport cycle, from making an offer until the final delivery of the raw materials to customers.
The company transports several million tonnes of cargo for its customers each year. All sorts of products are shipped throughout Europe, including: coal; ore; cellulose; corn; containers and so forth. In order to satisfy the demands of its customers, DAP Barging constantly strives to keep up to date with the latest developments in the logistics trade. It studies new innovative transport methods. Where necessary, it works with other companies to enable it to offer integrated solutions that can be delivered at any time.
DAP Barging can offer customized service to its clients, guaranteeing an efficient and professional supervision of all cargoes. The company is closely involved with all its customers and forwarders, and maintains many long-term relationships with its clients. It knows that alliances based on mutual trust and the desire to achieve together are the most successful.
DAP Barging specializes in the transport of bulk cargo, and can deliver from one company’s doorstep to another, all over Europe’s waterways.
Every year, it ships some 8mt (million tonnes) of cargo for its customers, in several lines of business. Doing so has given it an extensive knowledge base for the transportation of a variety of materials including coal, ore, phosphate, cattlefeed, steel, sunflowerseeds and soyabeans.
DAP Barging is especially equipped for the transport of breakbulk and general cargo. For years, it has acted as partner to its customers in the shipping of steel, timber, paper and other general cargo. DAP Barging uses modern, optimal equipped shipping space.
DAP Barging offers dependable, expert shipping of project cargoes. The handling of heavy loads, extreme dimensions and vulnerable parts is done expertly and efficiently. It is particularly important to select the appropriate waterways for such shipments.
Several times a week DAP Barging transports containers to and from all major terminals within its working area. It is also able to transport containers to other harbour locations, with its usual high-quality service and flexibility.
Grant for Long Beach rail improvements
In mid-June, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners voted to accept $17 million in grants from a federal transportation programme to help fund the ‘Green Port Gateway’, which will improve rail flow and the environment at the Port of Long Beach in California, USA.
The Green Port Gateway Project, which includes an Ocean Boulevard track realignment and construction of a Pier F rail support yard, will go out for bid this summer, with construction expected to begin in early 2013.
The project will add a third rail line, helping to remove bottlenecks on the existing mainline track to allow port terminals to shift cargo from trucks to trains, which decreases local traffic congestion and air pollution. The improvements will minimize derailments and optimize rail traffic flow to the waterfront terminals. The project will cost an estimated $60 million and take 19 months to construct.
The federal funds come from the U.S Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) programme. The project is expected to create about 340 jobs during construction.
The Green Port Gateway Project, the first of four rail projects expected to begin in the next year to promote more on-dock rail shipments, is also part of the larger San Pedro Bay Ports Rail Enhancement Program, which involves several projects by the Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles and the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority.
The port has more than $4.4 billion in capital improvement projects planned for the next 10 years. For the Green Port Gateway project, $27 million has been secured from the state’s Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvement Fund. The $17 million in TIGER funds helps bring state and federal contributions to $44 million, allowing the port to move ahead more quickly on this project.
Transnet Freight Rail: moving freight reliably
Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) under the leadership of Chief Executive Siyabonga Gama is the largest operating division of Transnet Limited, a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) under the auspices of The Department of Public Enterprise in South Africa.
TFR owns and maintains a network of 20,500 route kilometres (22,000 track kilometres) connected to ports and the rail networks of neighbouring countries. The company services a wide range of industries including, but not limited to; mining, coal, iron ore, manganese, steel, chrome, cement, granite manufacturing, agriculture, automotive, petroleum and chemicals.
In spite of the company facing a number of operational challenges such as, ageing rolling stock, derailments and productivity related inefficiencies,TFR is rising above these challenges through various capital investment plans and employee engagement processes which cover amongst other things, productivity, employee training and safety.
Capital programme implementation capability from spending of R2 billion per annum in 2005 to R14 billion per annum in 2011.
For this financial year 2012/13 top implementation initiatives include:
  • preparation and approval of business cases for 66 key projects per schedule;
  • TFR Capital Plan aligned with TRE budget and capability (TRE capacity agreed in budget alignment sign off;
  • responsive and effective capital procurement and localization strategy;
  • execution of 2012/13 capital programme projects per rollout philosophy; and
  • development of lean construction excellence and sophisticated supplier contractor management (also addressing counter party risks) The expected contribution to the economy is:
  • 6,200 truck reduction per annum;
  • 3.9mt less CO2 emissions per annum or 28 million tonnes over the seven-year period
  • reducing the total logistics costs by between 4% and 7% and by 0.5% as a % of GDP (from 13.5% to 13%)
Transnet Freight Rail will continue to invest heavily in order to meet the growing demand of South and Southern African industries.
In November 2011 TRANSNET Freight Rail launched the implementation of its scheduled railway services. The schedule specifies the path that each train takes and the arrival and departure times of each train on every node of the specified rail path. This initiative will build on the efficiency improvements that have been brought about by deploying the new EMD and GE Diesel locomotives, working in partnership with key customers and supply chain partners. A scheduled railway means that all the activities on the supply chain must be optimized. TFR will thus rely heavily on customers loading and offloading according to agreed time norms and cargo handling terminals doing the same so that appropriate benchmarks of wagon turnaround times and locomotive efficiency can be achieved. Through the supply chain optimization process, collaboration on stockpile management, shipping schedules and loading rates will continue to be key.
In April this year Transnet Freight Rail changed its operations structure from the previous three regions to at least six smaller units. This will enable a much more detailed focus on operations. The six business units are confirmed as:
  • Agriculture and Bulk Liquids
  • Coal business y Container and Automotive
  • Iron Ore and Manganese
  • Mineral Mining and Chrome business, and
  • Steel and Cement
These new ‘business units’ will be accountable for specific customer groupings and control allocated geographical areas for operational purposes. Allocations of these areas will be based on activity levels related to the customer groupings the units are accountable for.
Operations will still be centrally controlled and the central operational structures are being re-aligned to optimize operations across the newly established business units.