Supply chain transparency helps railroad company track coal shipmentsA new supply chain system is helping the railway transport company CN manage the flow of coal from mines to its West Coast terminals.

The new approach improves supply chain transparency and uses weekly reports to help CN's managers keep track of how much coal is on hand at export terminals and mines, the arrival date of vessels, trains and other shipments, the amount of coal being shipped and the number of trains en route to and from the mines at any given time. The revised system has improved service to coal customers and has helped the company avoid bottlenecks and other supply issues.

"This end-to-end view of our coal supply chain, along with a focus on closer customer collaboration, improves coal logistics, which in turn allows coal producers to maximize sale opportunities," said Andy Gonta, CN's vice president of bulk commodities. "This approach also positions the railway and its customers to anticipate and solve any bottleneck issues well before they reach the boiling point."

"This is a win-win innovation for all the players involved in the coal supply chain," he added. "Transparent measurement and balanced accountability are key to our overall ability to tap growing markets."
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