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Rail Freight Revolution: Elevating Safety and Service Quality to Attract Shippers

Rail Freight Revolution: Elevating Safety and Service Quality to Attract Shippers

Attract Shippers

Railroad executives are setting their sights on enhancing safety and service quality to entice shippers to embrace rail transportation in 2024. During a recent industry conference, leaders from Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, and CSX outlined their plans to boost efficiency and reliability across their networks, positioning rail as a compelling alternative to traditional trucking.

Beth Whited, President of Union Pacific, emphasized the importance of efficiency improvements in attracting shippers to intermodal services. By investing in performance enhancements and securing grants, Union Pacific aims to streamline operations and expand its service offerings. Whited highlighted initiatives like the on-dock service at Port Houston and the Falcon Premium cross-border service as examples of Union Pacific's commitment to meeting customer needs.

Meanwhile, Norfolk Southern's focus on safety has led to significant improvements in network performance. President and CEO Alan Shaw highlighted the railroad's efforts to enhance safety measures following a train derailment, leading to a notable reduction in accidents. Shaw emphasized the role of superior service in winning over trucking customers, citing optimism among raw metals shippers and opportunities in manufacturing investment, particularly in the Southeast.

CSX President and CEO Joe Hinrichs identified chemicals transportation as a key area for intermodal growth. With chemicals representing a significant portion of CSX's customer base, the railroad is leveraging its acquisition of bulk liquid chemical hauler Quality Carriers to expand its presence in this sector. Hinrichs sees the acquisition as an opportunity to enhance safety, reduce costs, and drive growth in the motor business through intermodal solutions.

Railroads are positioning themselves for success in 2024 by prioritizing safety, efficiency, and service excellence. By forging stronger partnerships with the trucking industry, investing in network improvements, and targeting key sectors for growth, railroads are poised to capture a larger share of the freight market and provide customers with reliable transportation solutions.

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