Tratics rail rate software was born out of the conversations I have had over the years with countless representatives of shippers, railroads, government officials, and other stakeholders. One key theme that kept coming up was that rates were too high, the railroads have all the power, and shippers can’t do anything about it. As I would ask more questions about this, it would quickly become clear that the key factor was lack of "information power".

During my tenure at Norfolk Southern, I had seen firsthand the effectiveness of informed shippers in rate negotiations. Each shipper is unique, so their negotiation tactics differed as they approached their transportation providers. But one thing was always the same for savvy shippers: they had information power. What does this mean? They knew their business well, the railroad’s market position, and their competition. They understood the strengths and weaknesses of each of their shipping or receiving locations and they had the numbers to back up their information and conclusions. Shippers who were effective negotiators used their information power to their advantage, in some cases securing 20-30% lower rates than the rest of the market.

In our surveys, we have found that most shippers still rely exclusively on excel spreadsheets. They frequently key in rate information manually in accounting enterprise software. Additionally, few shippers properly use market and railroad analytics to identify areas of opportunity for lower rates.

Given what I heard from shippers and my personal experience, I set the following challenge for myself and the Tratics team: to build a system that enables shippers to lower their rates, find better routes, and provide unmatched rate analytics tools. Our goal is to give our clients "information power". Tratics today is an easy-to-use rail rate software, something like Kayak or Expedia for flights, but a B2B service that helps shippers find, manage and negotiate the lowest possible rail rates.

Our suite of tools simplifies complicated rail rates, accessorials, and other rate terms to provide an unmatched and complete view of rail rates. Contract rates, tariff rates, Rule 11 rates, fuel surcharges, switch charges, carbon tax charges, access type, and countless other pricing elements, are now made easy. We have built algorithms that give our clients visibility into the complete universe of rail rates. We bring together rate and contract management, Rule 11 combinations, advanced search and query, in-application new rate requests, and a library of key rail data.

Our Tariffs Live data service enables our clients to identify savings immediately and keeps them informed of all rate changes as they happen. We continuously scan railroad sites and collect all pertinent rate information, so that one can easily compare all rate and route options in one platform. Additionally, our technology is flexible to stay in step with changes that happen in the rail industry.

I believe we have made quite some strides in our goal of helping shippers to lower their rail shipping costs. Tratics now serves a number of clients across several industries. Our platform has helped our clients save money on rail transportation by enabling them to find rates up to 20% lower than direct railroad offers. Tratics helps our clients directly improve their bottom line!

We will continue to innovate and find new ways to help our clients compete in the marketplace. Stay tuned…

Nderim Rudi is the founder and CEO of Tratics, the rate management platform founded in 2018. Nderim knows first-hand how railroad managers think and what leverage can be utilized to bring the shipper more power to the negotiating table. Prior to Tratics, he worked at Norfolk Southern railroad in various roles including analysis, strategic planning, sales and marketing, and logistics consulting before transitioning to the government sector and working at the Surface Transportation Board (STB).