PO-1 w/ MEC 354 - MEC 347 brought two loads of LPG to Dead River this afternoon (On a Sunday of all days!) Looked like two empties to go back to Rigby with.
gokeefe wrote:They don't make the right kind of product for shipment by rail.Yup. And for anyone curious about what they make at the Westbrook plant (it's really better described as a plant than a mill), check out their web site — it's really interesting and you've probably got Sappi Westbrook stuff in your home or car!
gokeefe wrote:They don't make the right kind of product for shipment by rail.Lots of propane everywhere. It's easy business and hard to f up. The product doesn't go bad and the consignee doesn't care what car # they get as long as it's a load.
Interesting to note that PAR seems to have kept very steady local business in the Portland area recently. Lots of propane deliveries.
Cowford wrote:Highly seasonal with the highest demand during the year's worst weather (and the worse the weather, the higher the demand!), stringent hazmat compliance requirements, very challenging to forecast as it's so temperature-dependent. Yeah, it's a snap!I think we have a pretty good grasp on when it's supposed to get cold now...
Cowford wrote:Good grasp on when, eh? So what's your forecast on how many heating degree days should be expected next winter? Kinda makes a difference.Have you ever had automatic fuel delivery? Not a new science.
Cowford wrote:Dismissing the regulatory/safety requirements of LPG? That's discouraging.No I said there is nothing special about LPG vs other hazardous commodities being moved. It is not a TIH class product and thus requires no special handling or train service.
Cowford wrote:Finally, markets don't forecast demand, industry participants forecast market demand. Railroads forecast and plan for LPG movements just like LPG retailers, suppliers, intermediaries... it's not just demand that is forecast, but also sourcing locations, etc. and just like railroads do for every other commodity they handle.That is correct - which makes LPG no more difficult to plan operations for.
Cowford wrote:Granted, LPG moves in private equipment, so that's out of the equation... but aren't unit trains easier? Or blocks of other product that move in private equipment? And you seem to think storage tracks aren't planned for?No they are not, like I said Deerfield and Rigby both have dedicated tracks. There is nothing to "plan" for. When the customer begins to order cars in the fall those tracks fill up. The switchers go in and take X number of cars and they are done.
Cowford wrote:You're right, propane is, generally speaking, propane. And you're right, you (usually) don't have to spot the cars in any particular order. But foul up your service in a cold snap (which is when you're at the highest risk of doing so) and the receiver will source by truck, with that volume gone forever. Sorry man, there's more that goes into it than spotting a cut on a spur.The customer does not wait until a Noreaster and their storage is running low to order cars.
MEC407 wrote:It would be better said "not the right kind of VOLUME for shipment by rail" High value, reusable paper, ordered a couple of tons at a time. Domestically moved LTL. Full containers trucked to port for overseas distribution.gokeefe wrote:They don't make the right kind of product for shipment by rail.Yup. And for anyone curious about what they make at the Westbrook plant (it's really better described as a plant than a mill), check out their web site — it's really interesting and you've probably got Sappi Westbrook stuff in your home or car!
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