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Lithium supply chain - CBH case study

Solurail Implements CBH for lithium supply chain


Solurail Logistics Inc. embarked on an innovative project for a lithium supply chain, prioritizing a safe operation for its employees. The company aimed to minimize product manipulation, reduce contamination risks, streamline loading processes amidst labor shortages, innovate for environmental sustainability, and leverage gondola rail cars for efficient freight transport. Facing challenges in Northern Quebec, Canada, including extreme cold weather conditions and handling lithium spodumene, the company sought a  new CBH shed to rail solution.

Solution Selection:

After meticulous analysis, Solurail Logistics Inc. identified Containerized Bulk Handling (CBH) as the optimal solution. Collaborating with industry leaders such as Intermodal Solutions Group (ISG) from Australia and RAM Spreaders from Singapore, renowned for their quality, track record, and after-sales service, Solurail Logistics Inc. evaluated equipment compatibility, past successes, and reputation to ensure alignment with client and internal objectives.

Challenges Addressed:

1. Reduced Product Manipulation: The CBH solution with a RAM Revolver reduced manipulation from six to three stages from shed to rail, minimizing product handling and potential losses.

2. Mitigated Contamination Risks: By halving both product loss and contamination risks, Solurail Logistics Inc. enhanced product integrity and quality assurance.

3. Streamlined loading process: Loading a gondola with three containers, reaching a payload of 31 tons per container and 93 tons per wagon in one third of the time, significantly improved operational efficiency compared to the previous process with one front-end loader.

4. Environmental Impact: The company prioritized environmental sustainability by exploring innovative loading deck designs to prevent spillage and successfully executing a spill-free loading process.

5. Cold Weather Resilience: Despite operating in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius, Solurail Logistics Inc. adapted equipment heating procedures, ensuring seamless transloading operations unaffected by extreme weather conditions.


Solurail successfully implemented a new CBH shed-to-rail operation for lithium transport, challenging our ways to transload bulk and setting a benchmark for efficiency, reliability, and environmental consciousness. Emphasizing the paramount importance of employee safety, the company's commitment to innovation ensures not only operational excellence but also the well-being of its workforce. Acknowledging the collaborative efforts of ISG, RAM Spreaders, Konecranes (that gave us a great support from an international specialist), Strongco (as distributor, they have been at the heart of integration and maintenance) , and the client's trust, Solurail expresses gratitude for their invaluable contributions and support throughout the project.

In conclusion, we wanted to share this case study with the industry to help other companies like ours who want to innovate while ensuring the safety and well-being of their employees, reduce their environmental footprint by doing the same work in a shorter lead time, reduce the impact of labor shortages by being more efficient, support your client in reducing handling and contamination risks.

We also want to thank our following partners for their support and commitment to excellence, Lithium Amerique du Nord Inc. (Sayona Mining), Canadian National Railway, Transrail FN 27 Inc. and ALFD Transport.

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