Global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus has named Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM), Pemex and Bulkmatic as the 2015 winners of its prestigious Win-Win Award in Argus Rail Business.

The Win-Win was awarded this week at the North American Rail Shippers Association conference in Chicago in front of almost 300 representatives of railroad companies 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 improvements. 

Rail freight company KCSM partnered with Mexico’s state-owned oil firm Pemex to develop an efficient and timely solution to Pemex’s increased need to ship its petroleum products in an environmentally safe way. Pemex had set a goal of increasing its 18,000 b/d volume in 2013 to 40,000 b/d by 2015, more than doubling its shipments.

KCSM proved to be the ideal partner to handle the increased load from Pemex’s refinery in Tula, in the Mexican state of Hidalgo, to the port of Lazaro Cardenas. As part of the plan, Pemex invested in a multi-million dollar specialized rail terminal in Lazaro Cardenas, replacing an aging transload terminal and taking hundreds of trucks off local streets while increasing security. Pemex also built an associated pipeline to move petroleum products an additional 2.5 miles.

KCSM secured a dedicated fleet of 535 railcars and converted Pemex from a two-rail manifest service to a single-rail KCSM unit train using distributed power, increasing efficiency and making the shipment more fuel-efficient as it traveled between the cities.

Transload partner Bulkmatic built a facility at the petroleum products’ origin and was able to open the facility just 105 days after breaking ground.

The collaboration allowed increased volumes to be shipped, and improved asset utilization, leading to a 122pc/day volume increase in just two years. The reduction of truck traffic and the elimination of the need for a destination transload terminal resulted in substantial emissions savings.

“The Kansas City Southern de Mexico-Bulkmatic-Pemex partnership led to efficiencies in North American commodity shipping in an environmentally sound way, and deserves to be recognized,” Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said. “We are pleased to present these companies with the 2015 Argus Win-Win Award.”

Launched in 1998 by Argus Rail Business, the annual award is now in its 18th year and celebrates partnerships between rail carriers and customers resulting in significant cost or service benefits.