Nationwide Rail Services Management Software

Their Challenge

Nationwide Rail Services is one of the premier intermodal, regional, and long haul trucking companies in Chicagoland. With a fleet of over 250 trucks, they transport hundreds of loads each day. Its mission is to provide the best transportation services to its customers through communication, safety, and reliability.

Managing the shipments, schedules, and communication between such a large fleet is no easy task. NRS’s back-office team manually checks and updates various spreadsheets for multiple railroads and freight websites a day. They record the status of rail shipments, arrival times, and terminals to coordinate pick-ups. This manual data entry is critical to their business but extremely time-consuming. As NRS grew, the processes became too difficult to manage efficiently.

Our Solution

Nationwide Rail Services’ workflow is extremely customized to their business, making it difficult (if not possible) to adapt to an off-the-shelf management tool. Instead, NRS needed a custom workflow management system to streamline day-to-day operations. The goal of the new system was to increase efficiency and productivity and eliminate errors that come with manual data entry.

Saritasa worked closely with the NRS team to understand their existing workflows, tools, and needs to design a custom software solution.

What Saritasa Did:

API Integration

NRS manually records shipment information from three major railways. This information is necessary for drivers to know where to load cargo shipments. To automate this process, our team integrated with the individual railways’ API. Some of these APIs needed significant changes to be viable. Our team customized and integrated these complex APIs to pull the necessary data into a cloud-based database.

Routing Algorithms

Using the information from the railways APIs, the system provides assignments for cargo pick-ups. These job assignments are based on a complex algorithm designed around NRS’s years of business knowledge and domain expertise. Each driver receives a printout of their daily jobs, down to the exact station and gate where the cargo will be.

Custom Dispatch System

Saritasa built NRS’s smart web-based dispatch system using Python to provide security, scalability, and structure. The end-product is a simple, easy-to-use internal tool that eliminates spreadsheets and manual data entry. It automatically generates notifications and reminders of key action items.

Future Functionality

One benefit of custom software is constant, incremental improvements. The NRS team identified their critical need for the first phase of development. Now that the APIs and automation have shown success, future enhancements like a driver app and reporting are in the works.

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