Rail freight marketing has two core challenges:
- To attract and maintain trade from businesses whose products are rail-suited.
- To entice trade from businesses whose products are less rail-suited but can be conveyed to customers with comparable time/cost.
In the case of 1., the marketing department’s task is the wresting of trade away from competitors moving rail-suited freight. When time/cost equivalence characterises the market, customer service and associated complementary capabilities represent the potential order-winning, business capturing value-drivers. Ambitious railfreight providers will offer superior customer service.
In the case of 2., time/cost factors are prioritized over the modality, which will likely be of little interest to the service user. The provider is able to leverage multimodal capability as a failsafe measure: single modality deliverers lack the ability to switch between modalities when constraints arise. The group’s multimodal logistics capability is thus exploited.