The BNSF Shortline Caucus met October 19, 2016 while members were in Ft. Worth attending BNSF’s annual Shortline Conference. Here are the highlights from the caucus session:
Caucus members reviewed the results of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) survey of BNSF shortlines. BNSF satisfaction ratings reached their highest level in the past six years. Ten out of 12 metrics improved in 2016, with “Rate Competitiveness” and “I/C Track Designations & Conditions” receiving their highest ratings and slight declines in the “I/C Information-Accuracy & Timeliness” and “Revenue Settlement/Accounting” categories only. Fifty-one percent of respondents said they were either "Entirely Satisfied" or "Very Satisfied" with BNSF. When compared to those who indicated they were “Entirely Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied” with BNSF in 2015 and 2014, we see a significant increase in satisfaction in the past two years.
One of the main topics discussed by the caucus was bad order or rejected cars. BNSF recently created tools to identify bad order and rejected cars which help minimize expense to railroads and customers caused by damaged equipment. BNSF encourages use of these tools by customers or shortlines to help identify problems with equipment. For more information on the railcar rejection and dirty car reporting tools, click here.
Overall, BNSF car supply is very good, receiving its highest rating on the ASLRRA annual survey since 2010.
Finally, shortline respondents indicated that they have captured new truck traffic in 2016 and also plan to convert truck traffic to rail in 2017.
Anne Erickson, general director, Agricultural Commodities, and Regina Minish, director, Industrial Products Marketing, provided updates on their respective business areas.
Minish reinforced that because Industrial Products markets are very diverse and dynamic, it is important for us to stay close to our customers and markets to capture opportunities and mitigate risks.
Stefan Loeb and Sharon Trudell agreed to continue on the BNSF caucus for an additional term. Bruce Carswell and Steve Gregory will not seek additional terms. BNSF thanks prior members for their service to our caucus.
BNSF would also like to welcome two new members to the caucus: Jack Parliament, President and General Manager, D&I Railroad Company and Paul Treangen, CEO of TNW Corporation. The caucus also elected a new chairman: Stefan Loeb, Watco Companies.
The next BNSF shortline caucus meeting will take place in the spring of 2017. If you have any concerns or items of interest, please contact one of your BNSF caucus members.