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Landus Chooses RSVP by ICL for Rail Tracking & Management

Rail Shipment

From their earliest known roots in 1888 as the Farmers Elevator and Livestock Company, the Landus Cooperative (Landus) has grown over the years to become one of the largest farmer owned co-ops in the U.S after the merging and acquisition over 60 companies both in and around the state of Iowa. Headquartered in Des Moines, Landus is a $2.4B business dedicated to elevating the agricultural supply chain by connecting farmers with value-added partners and technologies, promoting sustainable practices and processes, and works directly with farmer owners to process, distribute, and sell goods such as grain, feed, soil, fertilizer, soybeans, and soy products. 


Landus Expansion into Rail Operations 

Landus’ soybean crush plant based out of Ralston dates back more recently to the 1980’s, where they started moving about 5 railcar loads of product per week. By the early 2000’s, however, this facility had grown to require their own leased railcar fleets, and loads had increased to upwards of 20 railcar loads a day. To manage this, the Landus team had initially developed their own in-house systems to track and manage rail operations, but over the years, not only did these softwares became dated, but with changes in personnel, fewer and fewer knew how to appropriately operate and manage them.  


“The timing with ICL was just right. We were struggling to maintain our own programs and could see we were going to need something to fill in the gaps, so we decided to try out RSVP. Found that it worked, we were happy with the customer service, and never looked back.” 

Adam Adreon, Landus Manager of Rail Logistics 


The Solution? Enter RSVP by ICL

RSVP is a cloud-based railcar tracking and management platform that allows rail shippers to centralize data for end-to-end visibility and analytics. Initial discussions with ICL led to a 3-month pilot project, in which the Landus team found that our RSVP software solution filled in the gaps in data that they were looking for. 


“Compared to where we were between juggling dated in-house systems, manual processes, and stretched IT resources, RSVP felt like it was a gift from the future and takes a load off my day-to-day [pun intended].”   

Adam Adreon, Landus Manager of Rail Logistics 


Adam Adreon, Landus’ Rail Logistics Manager, who heads up their rail operations shared with us that the biggest challenge with RSVP Landus had to overcome was simply who its internal end users would be. Training was easy, and with RSVP, Adam and his team could easily track what railcars are headed out and back, estimated arrival times, and use the data and reporting functionality from RSVP to create detailed reports for upper management regarding fleet management and performance.  


“Like our farmer members that explore and utilize new technologies to gain every efficiency they possibly can and secure profitability, Landus uses RSVP by ICL to track and manage our railcars for maximum insight and visibility into daily rail operations. Especially with our transporting time-sensitive agricultural products, and in a such a competitive market, knowing our railcar locations and their ETA’s is a must for us.” 

Adam Adreon, Landus Manager of Rail Logistics 


The Biggest Benefits Though?  

Now equipped with this data, Landus has been able to right-size their leased rail fleet (a major expense) and minimize the number of phone calls to Adam’s team related to daily operations, allowing them to focus on more mission critical activities.  

Stakeholders can now easily find information within the platform itself or be set up to receive email reports relevant to them as needed. If any issues do arise during the day, however, Adam tells us that ICL support is quick to respond and often provides same-day solutions to whatever problems they may encounter. His favorite and most used feature(s) include RSVP’s rail shipment query tools, which he’s set up to go to his email inbox daily, and uses to compare data over days, weeks, and months. 


Looking Forward for Landus 

Not only has implementation of the RSVP platform improved operations at their Ralston plant but has allowed Landus to track their inbound fertilizer rail cars as well, and further, allows them to transload products to achieve cheaper freight rates for even more cost savings beyond their railcar purchasing efforts. New visibility with RSVP equips the Landus team to make better business decisions with the right data, right when they need it. 

Without RSVP today, Adam shared with us that his team would still be living in a manual environment, doing everything on their own via spreadsheets and those in-house systems that were at risk and in danger of back-end servers being phased out, among other things. 

With more rail logistics data available than ever before through ICL's standard reporting and analytics, Adam is excited to leverage this and integrate such data into other internal tools such as Microsoft’s PowerBI reporting suite, for the ultimate briefing on their rail operations and further details around operational performance, cost savings, and more. We at ICL look forward to these results, and to our continued partnership and success with Landus.