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RELOAD is distributed to over 2,000 members of our transloading community, including 800+ shippers!


February 2021


TDANA Annual Meeting Date Moved to 2022

The TDANA Annual Meeting originally scheduled for April 2021 will be rescheduled to the Spring of 2022.  We have made this change in the interest of the safety of our members and with the goal of providing meetings that provide high value and a truly great networking experience. Just like our members, we eagerly anticipate the day we can all safely gather to meet in person with colleagues and new potential partners.  Members will be notified of specific date and location information soon via this newsletter, email and on our website.  AND – keep an eye out for news of our new events throughout 2021!

Membership Renewal

Membership renewal due Feb. 28, 2021. Keep your membership directory and other TDANA benefits up to date by renewing your membership by Feb. 28!  Members will receive an email reminder – or – you can simply go to the membership renewal page. It's fast and easy to renew.

Renew Today!

Questions? Call Carrie Foor at 331-643-3369 or email at

ARS Recycling provides assistance to the partnership between Waste Management FlyAsh Direct and Watco Cos. with its DC5TL machine to combat fly ash waste.

Associate member offers innovative solutions

Two-year TDANA associate member ARS Recycling Systems touts an industrywide reputation for maintaining a customer-centric approach to every endeavor and providing unique solutions to meet clients’ diverse needs. The company excels in engineering custom machines that increase productivity and create a better environmental experience for less money.

“We compose a compelling argument that offers efficient, engineered solutions at a competitive price for customers,” President Bob Vucenovic said. “We don’t have a cookie-cutter service; we provide different applications in different ways.”

Vice President of Engineering Gus Lyras founded the company in 1991 as a dust collection manufacturer. Services include custom equipment maintenance products, training and repairs, and will soon feature equipment finance consulting. Clientele representation includes bridge and marine industries, as well as the U.S. Navy and various industrial applications.

Business evolved significantly in 2017 when ARS recognized a unique need in the transloading industry, coinciding with the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts. That year presented a significant service event with a leading dry bulk marketer, which resulted in a successful case study upholding the company’s stellar performance. 

“I suggest reading the case study when considering our services,” Vice President of Sales Doug Reed said. “It offers compelling evidence that our machines boost productivity and eliminate potential environmental concerns for our clients.”

Although ARS has solved companies’ fly ash problems in the past, it faced a unique challenge in providing assistance to partnership between Waste Management FlyAsh Direct and Watco Cos. These new customers required a different approach to eliminate an operational bottleneck that occurred while transporting fly ash via pneumatic trailers and rail cars from coal-fired power plants.

“They had unique waste management needs and preferences, so we engineered their equipment based on their procedures for transporting to rail,” Reed said. “Their operations were slow and couldn’t move more than one product at a time, and they experienced exhaust pluming and filter problems. We adjusted our basic dust collection technology to fit their needs.”

ARS representatives toured the worksite to assess the customers᾿ concerns and processes firsthand. Reed cited these tours, which precede equipment maintenance and training, as one of many unparalleled services to attentively engineer the right product.

Lyras agreed and said, “The most important step is meeting with the folks who will use these machines daily. Our tours prioritize their ideas so we can design the equipment around their needs to enhance their safety and efficiency. This is my primary objective when engineering something from square one.”

In this scenario, ARS integrated the ARS-DC5TL to minimize product lost into the air during transport. The continuous dust collection system for dry bulk solids significantly enhanced productivity through reducing fly ash lost per hour, therefore presenting a more environmentally conscious process for Waste Management FlyAsh Direct. It also reduced maintenance downtime by addressing issues such as improper airflow and filtration. 


ARS Recycling Systems excels in engineering custom, environmentally friendly machines that boost efficiency and offer cost-effective operations.


Vucenovic hails these functions as key components of their marvelous machines.

“With our assistance, they᾿ve minimized waste; reducing product loss is one of our machines’ most unique abilities,” he said.

The case study presents measurable proof for ARS Recycling Systems᾿ effectiveness. Implementing the DC5TL increased the cubic feet per minute from 2,000 to 5,000. The company also resolved the filtration issues through increasing the media space from 325 square feet to 1,620 square feet. Additionally, the new machine can operate 2,000 hours without filter maintenance and increase site productivity by 400%.

Reed cited associate membership with TDANA as a significant chapter in the company’s history. 
“It᾿s a great fit for us,” he said. “Gaining exposure to those in the transloading industry through the directory has proven especially invaluable.”

Vucenovic said TDANA appeared in numerous searches, prompting their desire for exposure and decision to join at the end of 2018. ARS seeks to offer solutions as the industry continues to evolve, especially through meeting others involved and participating in trade shows.

While ARS hopes to maintain a presence in the bridge and marine industries, the company also aims to augment its products for developing markets such as blast recycling. Conveying the affordable, unparalleled value proposition of services on various platforms will be crucial for both.

“We expect a huge influx in infrastructure spending, which includes bridges and everything fundamental to our markets,” Vucenovic said. “We’re cautiously optimistic and aim to ensure we have the type of equipment available to respond to the demand.”

The disruption caused by the pandemic can pose challenges and yet create opportunities. And both challenges and opportunities often require funding. Whether your business is a short line railroad, a transload service provider, an industrial park, a 3PL or any other transportation provider, there are a variety of funding methods available. In the article below we feature a TDANA member who consults with such businesses in finding funding. 

Grants and more:
Resources abound for transloaders

When it comes to applying for grants and federal or state funding, Libby Ogard explains it this way: Anyone can win as long as they know how to play. 

The Prime Focus LLC president touts industry expertise exceeding four decades and enthusiastically shares her knowledge to help others succeed, especially in rural areas.

Libby Ogard, Prime Focus LLC president

“My hands-on experience with transportation operations and national account logistics management helps me write compelling project narratives,” Ogard said. “Because the number of projects exceeds funding programs, identifying the right programs for each project is key.”

She began her career with the Burlington Northern Railroad on a steel gang and then as a switchman/brakeman. While obtaining her master's degree in business administration at night, Ogard transitioned to a marketing role in St. Paul, Minnesota. During this time, she learned more about transloading operations and needs.

“We celebrated new facilities that improved asset reutilization and efficiency, particularly for lumber and soda ash markets in Missouri and Wyoming, respectively,” Ogard said. “We also brought canned products closer to eastern U.S. food grade distribution centers for the school lunch program.”

Such initiatives targeted more cost-effective service, expanded market share and increased railroad revenue. Much of Ogard's strategy involved optimizing transportation weight and cube characteristics and reducing transit times by moving products closer to consumers.

After joining Schneider National Inc., Ogard worked for more than seven years to help expand intermodal operations for shippers, and managed purchasing transportation and national account retail sales. She now advises public agencies on infrastructure planning and development, and writes grants for short lines, ports and inland waterway operators — honing her knowledge of developing priority projects and matching those projects to eligible funding sources. Her transportation industry background helps her to present complete, compelling arguments, especially for those that equip rural businesses to increase their economic competitiveness.

“Rural states want supply chains to compete effectively with international competitors so they can live the American dream, and I help them accomplish that,” she said. “Our economy is propelled by the strength of our supply chain.”

Ogard strategically crafts proposals to target one of the seven funding pools — railroads, freight, marine and economic development are among them — and presents her beneficiaries' needs in the best light.

“It's all about making my clients look like rock stars,” she said. “My objective is to present each one as the ‘Van Halen’ of transloading.”

According to Ogard, the recipient's chances of receiving the grant are improved by how the proposal is worded and the need is defined, especially when it proves the public benefit exceeds the project cost.

“How we define the project determines which grant program might be most suitable for the recipient,” she said. “It's also crucial to pay attention to the eligibility criteria on each funding website. Many resources are available, and each recipient may be eligible for several funding programs depending on how we present the need.”

While several websites promote funding, Ogard said the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) likely offers the best fit for TDANA members. She urges entities to continue exploring the funding options even if they interpret their business as ineligible based on grant guidelines. 

Partnering with public agencies can expand funding opportunities, said Ogard who noted, “For instance, grant guidelines may indicate that public agencies are eligible applicants, yet eligible projects might include supply chain improvements, rail or freight projects. In one case, a metropolitan planning agency submitted an application to develop a conveyor system to connect a barge and rail transportation facility, and take trucks off the highway connecting the two terminals.” 

Both river and rail modes benefited from this Ogard said, illustrating the creativity and tact she relies upon for success. 

Grant writers such as Ogard excel in defining what they hope to accomplish and develop project-based cost-benefit ratios, which must yield a higher public benefit than public cost.

“At the end of the day, my success depends on documenting the costs and conditions that produce public benefits such as safety, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, environmental sustainability, quality-of-life benefits, innovation and partnerships that outweigh infrastructure cost for any given project,” she said.

Ogard expounds on this approach with the hypothetical example of a Minnesota railroader desiring to boost his international competitiveness. A grant could allow this railroader to transport goods by rail rather than truck to compete more favorably with Brazil's agriculture market and subsidized transportation system. Ogard can present the request to fit the State of Good Repair funding requirements by noting rail transportation eases overburdened highways, reduces carbon emission and is more cost effective than trucking.

“Documenting a compelling story demonstrates to the federal and state government that the project generates public value for public money,” she said. “A well-calculated cost-benefit ratio isn't a road to nowhere.”

To learn more about funding, see the following websites or contact Ogard directly at


Have Twitter? Follow us @transloadTDANA




Saskatoon Transportation Link offers fertilizer and grain pulse terminals, transloading freight, manufacturing, rail mixing yards and warehousing.


Iron Horse Industrial Park offers an example to other tribes seeking to participate more in manufacturing and transloading operations.

New industrial park members set example

TDANA proudly welcomes two industrial park members this year into the organization. The board encourages transload industry professionals to acquaint themselves with these unique companies and the variety of services they can offer. 


Located 8 miles outside the bustling hub of Saskatchewan’s largest city, the Saskatoon Transportation Link touts an 800-acre area to serve Canada’s two premier railroad main lines belonging to the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific. The site also boasts primary highway on its property that can hold maximum weight. 

“The transportation companies we serve are able to haul bigger loads, which is therefore more economical,” Saskatoon Transportation Link President Stuart Busse said. 

He noted that while mining coal, diamonds and gold constitutes a large portion of the province’s economy, agriculture remains the biggest segment at 40% of the Canada’s farmland. Trainloads and shipping containers offer the cheapest method for assisting to export the country’s agriculture products, and Busse stands proud to serve this significant market.

Although currently lacking a facility for these services, the crew hopes to enhance the site by adding food-grade potash operations, which meet different regulations than the potash used as crop fertilizer. Unlike other locations that lack separate loading facilities for each and lose time cleaning equipment to avoid contamination, Saskatoon Industrial Park would feature two areas specifically designated for each product. 

“We recognize the need and advantage these operations would offer, so we plan to provide them once a potash company signs on with us,” Busse said. “Our separate loading facilities would prevent losing valuable shipping time and achieves efficiency for customers.”

Clientele also appreciate the park’s separate loading and distribution points. While other sites can’t always claim this coveted feature, it helps Saskatoon achieve smooth, speedy service with minimal congestion. 

“If a specialty train returns with empty oil containers, that’s not as efficient as shipping containers loaded with grain one way and televisions on the return route," Busse said. “Customers want to avoid spending money on transporting empty containers. Our 800 acres of container storage make this possible.” 

He hopes other transload locations look to Saskatoon Industrial Park as an example and pursue similar efficient, environmentally friendly operations. 

And nearly 1,460 miles south within Oklahoma’s Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the 700-acre Iron Horse Industrial Park is on track to set a precedent for transloading sites across the U.S. This conveniently centralized site currently hosts manufacturing operations and warehouse storage  for conduit and piping sought by oil and telecommunications industries, as well as municipal government water systems. Additionally, sites are available for manufacturing and warehousing in the automotive support, aerospace, renewable energy, and environmental sustainability industries. Its status as the only active foreign trade zone on Native American trust property entails federal regulation and tax exemptions. 

“That is beneficial from a marketing standpoint,” said James Collard, Ph.D., Citizen Potawatomi Nation director of planning and economic development.  “We offer a wonderful tax benefit package for clients. They spare huge amounts of money, and it draws more business.” 

Responsible for diversifying the tribal economy, Dr. Collard mentioned the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s admiration for Canada and plans to honor their historic ties by expanding the Iron Horse Industrial Park site for Canadian, including Canadian First Nations, businesses. By expanding the Iron Horse Industrial Park site, greater business and trade opportunities are made available for both International trade and intertribal trade. A grant from the Economic Development Administration has helped fund the project, which has included utility securement, new rail placement and environmental considerations. The expanded operations are slated for a summer 2021 completion and will call for a significantly increased workforce.

“We look forward to helping grain producers within 50-100 miles of the site ship their product north, as well as processing incoming containers from Canada,” Collard said. “Although most decline to make big decisions right now with the pandemic, we’re participating in discussions with several companies as everything seems to be lining up for the future.”

In addition to securing more partnerships with its northern neighbor, Iron Horse seeks to increase its market participation abroad, which is not widespread within the Native American community. Through the International Inter-Tribal Trade and Investment Organization (, Collard advocates for developing mechanisms through which Indigenous peoples can trade over international boundaries. He encourages other tribes to engage in international trade and bring manufacturing and transloading into their respective nations, as the operations will directly benefit its citizens through bringing wealth back to the tribe. 

“Possessing a global presence is our future, and we have used our park as an example for other tribes to help diversify the indigenous economy,” Collard said. “Iron Horse is very much a site from which local products are shipped out of the immediate area to anywhere around the world or within our own state.”

North American
freight-rail traffic highlights

From the AAR Jan. 8, 2021 Rail Time Indicators report


Although U.S. rail traffic left something to be desired during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, numbers finished the year reasonably strong. 

Excluding intermodal units, total U.S. weekly rail traffic in December was 220,265 carloads, down 3.7 percent compared with the same week last year.


In December, 10 or the 20 carload commodities tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with December 2019. These include:



28,095 carloads



Farm Products


533 carloads


Grain mill products


614 carloads


Food Products


699 carloads





5,764 carloads


Lumber and

wood products


903 carloads


Iron and steel scrap


1,913 carloads



Motor vehicles & parts


1,054 carloads


Stone, clay and glass products


1,453 carloads


Waste and nonferrous scrap


1,210 carloads





Commodity groups posting decreases as compared to December 2019 include:



50,509 carloads



Petroleum and petroleum products


10,386 carloads


Primary forest products


977 carloads



Pulp and paper products


818 carloads





963 carloads




3,357 carloads



Primary metal products


2,735 carloads



Crushed stone, sand and gravel


12,333 carloads


Nonmetallic minerals


2,524 carloads



All other carloads


302 carloads












YTD through December 2020 compared with 2019:

U.S. total carloads




1,692,711 carloads


U.S. Intermodal carloads were

13,455,704 units




containers and trailers


Canadian total rail cars were




289,860 carloads


Canadian Intermodal carloads were

3,556,713 units




containers and trailers

Mexican total rail cars were




75,823 carloads


Mexican Intermodal carloads were

801,033 units




containers and trailers

Transload Distribution Association of North America

PO Box 198, LaFox, IL 60147

331-643-3369 |

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