Railroads say reinvestment will improve service

09/07/2011 01:11:00 PM
Coral Beach

“In 12 months we hope to know what we need to change,” Hancock said. “It probably won’t be as much in the capital expenditures as it will be in how we do our jobs.”

Norfolk Southern Corp.

The implementation of the “Pacesetter” program at Norfolk Southern in 2008 has improved customer service as far as inventory and demurrage — delays in loading or unloading or a fee/fine charged in relation to such delays — management, but there is still room for improvement said Alan Julian, director of marketing for agriculture.

The railroad is reinvesting profits to improve operations. In 2010 Norfolk Southern spent 15% of its revenue on capital expenditures. For 2011 the railroad has budgeted $2.1 billion in capital outlays with an eye toward improving customer service.

In terms of its potato shipping customers, Julian said Norfolk Southern has 183 temperature-controlled facilities along its routes. He said he believes access to those facilities helped the railroad log a 38% increase in potato shipments in the southeast so far this year and a 21% increase in the Northeast.


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