Argus Awards Michigan Shore Railroad and Sargent Sand Prestigious Win-Win Prize

June 11, 2009

WASHINGTON, June 11 /PRNewswire/ — Argus Rail Business, a specialist business publication covering the freight rail industry published by Argus Media, has named the Michigan Shore Railroad and Sargent Sand as the winners of its prestigious Win-Win Award. Launched in 1998, the annual award is given to railroads, shippers and organizations that develop innovative partnerships leading to improved service, efficiency and other mutually beneficial service advancements.

The latest award recognizes how the two companies devised a new delivery system for Sargent Sand’s developing business opportunities.

“We are very excited and honored to have been chosen to share this award with our valued customer, Sargent Sand. It was truly a Win-Win for both of us,” said Mike Bobic, the manager of marketing and sales at Michigan Shore Railroad.

“We are honored to receive Argus’ Win-Win award. Our project was truly a partnership between the railroad, customers and Sargent Sand,” Sargent Sand president William Webber said. “Our long-term relationship with the shortline railroad was made even stronger through the efforts of Mike Bobic. We look forward to our next projects.”

A subsidiary of RailAmerica, Michigan Shore Railroad operates a 68-mile line along the shore of Lake Michigan, hauling 7,000 cars a year. Sargent Sand is a subsidiary of the Sargent Companies, which operates sand, gypsum, concrete and transport businesses. Sargent Sand supplies frac sand to the oil and gas industry and also provides industrial and high silica sand.

Sargent Sand’s Ludington, Michigan, sand deposit was idle. Business had fallen off severely since the 1980s, when new technology for making and polishing glass rendered its sand obsolete. Last year, the company found a new outlet for its product as frac sand. Frac sand is pumped into wells when rock formations are fractured to better allow the release of oil and gas to the surface. But Sargent Sand had no way to get its product to the market. The sand deposit’s rail equipment had been removed several years before and the company did not have the machinery to process the sand.

Michigan Shore Railroad’s Bobic suggested that the sand company talk to one of its competitors, Nugent Sand, which operates a processing facility in Muskegon that was served by the shortline and also had additional capacity to handle more business. Bobic introduced officials from each company who within a week negotiated an agreement under which Sargent Sand would truck its product to Muskegon, where it would be processed, loaded onto railcars, and shipped to customers.

Sargent Sand now ships 30-50 carloads of sand each week on the shortline through its competitor’s facility. Annual projections exceed 3,000 carloads.

Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said: “We are delighted to recognize excellence in the freight rail sector. Michigan Shore Railroad and Sargent Sand are worthy winners of this year’s award.”

For further information contact: Howard Walper in Washington, tel +1 202 349 2864, email howard.walper@argusmedia.com or Seana Lanigan in London, tel +44 20 7780 4200, seana.lanigan@argusmedia.com.

About Argus Media

Argus is a leading provider of price assessments, business intelligence and market data on the global coal, electricity, oil, gas, emissions and transportation industries. It is headquartered in London and has offices in Houston, New York, Washington, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo, Beijing, Sydney, Moscow, Astana, Kiev and other key centres of the energy industry. Argus was founded in 1970 and is a privately held UK-registered company. Learn more at www.argusmedia.com.

SOURCE Argus Media

Source: newswire

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