CLEVELAND - Graham Brisben's goal is to keep plastic resin rolling, rolling, rolling on train tracks and highways all over the world.
With that in mind, he founded Plastics Logistics Group LLC, a Chicago consulting firm that opened its doors in February and now has a roster of five clients.
PLG offers services in all areas of plastic resin transportation and logistics. The company's current projects include working with the Canadian National Railway to improve plastic resin operations at its cargo flow terminal in Toronto and finding ways to optimize short-line resin traffic for Burlington Junction Railway in Iowa.
Brisben has plenty of experience in that area, having spent almost two decades working for the Burlington Northern railroad and Transplastics Inc., a Tampa, Fla.-based bulk trucking firm specializing in resin transportation.
Plastic resin transport is especially attractive to railroads because of its high volume and high shipping rates, Brisben said. But the market has maintained a relatively low profile. In his former job, Brisben said he often would get informational requests from customers on transportation-related topics such as hopper truck operation and railroad efficiency.
``These [topics] were mysteries to customers,'' Brisben said in an interview at Plastics Encounter in Cleveland, which was held June 19-21.
The firm's potential client base includes plastics processors looking to improve their inbound resin delivery, resin suppliers looking to manage their rail and trucking operations, and transportation companies seeking growth options in the plastics market.
PLG even can extend its services to include designing and installing rail sidings if a processor wants to ``bulk up'' from gaylords to rail cars, Brisben said.
``A lot of the time, plastics companies just look at their traffic management as a cost center,'' Brisben added. ``But if they look at their salaries, benefits and overhead, they can often provide that function at a lower cost.''