Faribault Woolen Mill Company is one of the oldest textile manufacturing company in the United States. The company is based in Faribault, Minnesota, United States and was established in 1865. Since then, the company has produced and sold wool, as well as woolen products such as blankets, heavy sweaters, bed blankets, pillows, and blend throws. Initially, the company imported raw materials that are wool, rubber, and leather. During the industrial revolution period, demand for wool and woolen products grew, and wool demands were met entirely by the farmers. Today, raw materials for Faribault Wooden Mill are imported from other countries using different modes of transportation such as rail, inland waters, and OTR.
According to Balliet (2013), the first railroad was built in 1803 in England. During the industrial revolution, rail transport grew and was widely used commercially to transport resources (raw materials, labor, and capital) to industries, and finished products to markets. Today, rail transport is crucial in the supply chain of the United States, by facilitating transportation of wool, rubber, and metal to the Faribault Woolen Mill Company plant. Railroads are preferred since it's a fast method of transportation, that is, cargo arrives at specified times as per the rail schedule (Jenks, 2010). Also, the freight charges are relatively low compared to other modes of transportation, that is for wool and textile products, the freight costs range from $9 per ton to $21 per ton(Marketrealist.com, 2015).
Inland waterways include navigable rivers and water bodies within a country. In the United States, inland waterways include the Cannon River, the Mississippi River, Ohio River, and Lake Umbagog among others. Inland waterways are preferred because they deliver large volumes of cargo (raw materials and products) to designated places (Jain, 2013). For instance, the Cannon River was used to deliver wool, rubber, and other raw materials from farmers to the Faribault Woolen Mill Company since it’s a cost efficient and fuel efficient mode of transportation (Bachok, 2015). Inland waterways also provide a cheaper means of transportation. Freight charges range from $4 per ton to $ 12 per ton.
Over The Road (OTR)
Trucks are the most popular mode of transport used to transport cargo from ports, railway stations to the specified destination. Trucks are predominantly used for industries where rapid movement of cargo in small batches is required (López-Navarro, 2014). Trucking has high operational flexibility, that is, it can be used for different purposes. (Ju re Erjavec, 2014). Trucks are used to deliver wool, to the Faribault Woolen Mill Company and to distribute finished products, from the company to various retail stores across the country. Transportation costs range from $1.10 per kilometer to $5 per kilometer.
Ocean mode of transportation involves people or cargo being transported over the sea, or ocean using boats and ships. Boats are generally smaller in size, while boats, are large and carry larger cargo. Ocean transport is used to transport large cargo, such as cars, or even large containers at a relatively cheaper cost. Ships were are used by Faribault Woolen Mills Co. to import rubber, from countries such as Thailand. Shipping costs are $5 – $7 per ton.
Faribault Woolen Mill Company utilizes various modes of transport such as rail, waterways, and trucks primarily for the transportation of raw materials. However, preference depends on factors such as timely delivery, costs per ton (per mile) or the nature of the material to be transported.
Bachok, A. N. D., A. S. (2015). Environmental Impact of Navigation in Inland Waterways. Journal of Transport System Engineering, 21-28.
Balliet, G. (2013). Railroads and their Effect on American Society, Saber and Scroll Journal, Volume II (Issue IV).
Jain, N. N. (2013). Assessing the Potential Role of Inland Water Navigation for Green Economy. Journal of Environmental Professionals Sri Lanka, 2(1), 25-37.
Jenks, L. H. (2010). Railroads as an Economic Force in American Development. The Journal of Economic History, 4, 1-20.
Ju re Erjavec, P. T. (2014). The Trade-off Between Road and Railroad Freight Transport. Economic And Business Review, 16(1), 63-76.
López-Navarro, M. Á. (2014). Environmental Factors and Intermodal Freight Transportation: Analysis of the Decision Bases in the Case of Spanish Motorways of the Sea. Sustainability, 1544-1566.