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Arkansas and Missouri Railroad, APAC-Central awarded prestigious 2014 Argus Win-Win

Houston, 29 May 2014

Global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus has named the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad and APAC Central, a division of Oldcastle Materials, as the 2014 recipients of its prestigious Win-Win Award.

The Win-Win was awarded today at the North American Rail Shippers Association conference in San Francisco in front of almost 300 representatives of railroads and their customers. 

The Argus Win-Win award recognizes innovation and co-operation in a sometimes adversarial relationship. It is given to railroads, shippers and organizations that develop innovative partnerships leading to improved service, efficiency and other mutually beneficial service improvements.

The efficient service provided by the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad allows APAC-Central to serve previously inaccessible markets and compete against sand producers that use trucks to deliver their product. The railroad actively promotes APAC-Central’s product to local sand users to increase both companies’ business by touting the benefits of its direct rail service and by using a wholly-owned transload company that can truck product to non-rail-served industries near its line.

“It is like having two or three extra sales people that we do not have. It really is the greatest partnership going,” APAC-Central account manager Larry Combs said. 

The shortline railroad found a way to cope with declining sand traffic and revenue after the 2008 recession by searching for an inventive solution that would benefit its customers and allow it to recover the revenue lost by the sharply lower volumes. Volumes were only 4,000 sand cars in 2008. But by investing in expanding its fleet of dedicated sand cars to 130 and working with APAC-Central to expand its geographical reach through transload options, it is expected to move 8,000 railcars of sand this year.

In 2013, 16pc of Arkansas and Missouri’s revenue and 20pc of its volume were generated by sand traffic. It now serves 37 sand customers on its 139-mile network, and recently bought three new 4,300-horsepower SD70ACe locomotives to better handle the business.

The shortline railroad provides two-day cycle times for the sand traffic moving to a network of rail and transload facilities along its lines. Arkansas and Missouri is able to get even more productivity from the dedicated fleet by using it to haul limestone back from destination terminals to industries close to the sand loading sites. 

“This project has been a win for all involved — a win for APAC-Central with the ability to reach more markets, a win for Arkansas and Missouri in increased car volume and revenues, a win for the customer, who receives quality product and service at a significant savings, and ultimately a win for the community as a whole, with the removal of so many trucks from our fragile highway infrastructure,” Jim Seratt, Arkansas and Missouri’s general manager for marketing and transload services, said.

Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said recipients of Argus Win-Win awards demonstrate the best practices in the industry. “We congratulate Arkansas and Missouri and APAC-Central on this successful venture and on the spirit of innovation and excellence it shows,” he said.

Launched in 1998 by
Argus Rail Business, the annual award is now in its 17th year and celebrates partnerships between rail carriers and customers resulting in significant cost or service benefits. The latest award recognizes both companies for establishing a partnership that allows the shipper to increase the reach of its sales through rail transportation, and the railroad for expanding its service and adding volume at the same time.

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About Argus Media

Argus is an independent media organisation with over 600 full-time staff. It is headquartered in London and has offices in each of the world’s principal commodity centres. Its main activities comprise publishing market reports containing price assessments, market commentary and news, and business intelligence reports that analyse market and industry trends.

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