Commtrex Study Finds Rail Operations Managers Spending Over 80 Hours Per Month Procuring Services for Existing Rail Assets

Research unveils railroad industry need for transaction transparency for rail asset shipping, leasing, buying, selling, storing and servicing.


Commtrex, Inc., the only open, electronic marketplace for the rail industry, today released market research in partnership with Rockwood Steel, LLC. The study highlights how the shipping community perceives, operates and evaluates rail transportation decisions in today’s rail environment. The complete report, "2017 Market Insight Report: Rail Asset Management Ranks High Among Operational Resource Priorities," reveals that shippers are spending more than 80 hours a month on procuring rail services for existing assets – uncovering operational inefficiencies in a fast-paced industry.

In May 2017, Rockwood Steel and Commtrex partnered to conduct an online research study of 52 shippers to capture insight about the current state of the shipping industry as it relates to shipping, leasing, buying, selling, storing and servicing rail cars.

Top study findings included: 

  • Only one in three shippers are willing to integrate new technologies to improve workflow processes
  • The most beneficial technology for shippers includes rail assets marketplace, historical freight rates and trends and operations dashboards
  • On average, 83.5 hours a month is spent procuring rail services for existing assets, and rail movement operations take an average of 127.9 hours per month
  • Fifty-four percent of the operational teams rely upon consultants, 3PL and brokers to provide financial-related insights for decision-making


“This research has identified not only common pain points across the commodities market, but it has uncovered the need for shippers to have access to more detailed and transparent information when making decisions around freight movement and rail asset management,” said Martin Lew, founder and CEO of Commtrex.

“As a shipper, we need to lease rail cars that are in high-demand for immediate needs,” said Joshua Herzing, president and CEO for Eco Solution Distributing. “The Commtrex Exchange ensures our success by providing real-time inventory access and pricing negotiations with lessors who possess scarcely available rail cars across the U.S., all in one place - improving our workflow process from connection to contract.”

Today, Commtrex has over $325M in assets available for lease and over 105,000 storage spaces tracked. Commtrex members have complete access to every asset and provider who participate in the Exchange. Benefits to members include expedited deal processes, efficiencies in engagement, real-time financial insights and industry research on a single platform.

Impacting an underserved rail industry, Commtrex Exchange offers railroad shippers: 

  • Transparency on pricing and available asset capacity
  • Geolocated listings that are mapped with rail lines across North America
  • Full coverage across all Class I railroads
  • Market activity research and insights on today’s commodities market (coal, mineral, petroleum, agricultural, etc.)
  • Interactive marketplace with a 24/7 RFP request process

Commtrex offers a free trial membership with access to Commtrex’s leasing, buy/sell, storage and services marketplaces. Members and visitors can read the recently published, “2017 Market Insight Report: Rail Asset Management Ranks High Among Operational Resource Priorities.”

About Rockwood Steel
Rockwood Steel is a full-service railroad management consulting firm. Their team of consultants are seasoned professionals with experience running short line railroads, leading successful teams at Class I’s and building a solid safety culture across organizations. For more information please visit

About Commtrex
Founded in 2015, Commtrex is the only open, electronic marketplace for the rail industry. We bring transparency and analytics to commercial transactions between rail shippers, storage providers, asset owners and services providers. Our platform expedites and improves transactions, benefitting members through efficiencies in engagement and by providing access to real-time financial insights. Commtrex is headquartered in Houston, TX. For more information please visit

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