The railroad industry accounts for 8 percent of the $980 billion annual transportation market. Until recently, the system upon which railroads operated hindered their ability to be consistent, reliable and cost effective, thus giving trucking logistics companies the edge in ground transport of goods and products.
Over the last two and half years, Jacksonville-based Fortune 500 company, CSX Corporation “embarked on the transformation process” to recapture their market share, according to Mark Wallace, CSX executive vice president of sales and marketing and keynote speaker at JAXUSA Partnership’s final luncheon of 2019 this week.
This transformation was led by former CSX CEO Hunter Harrison’s vision known as scheduled railroading (also referred to as precision scheduled railroading or PSR). Scheduled railroading puts focus on moving railroad cars, rather than trains, allowing train cars to leave on schedule. This practice reverses the model used for more than a century where railroads would wait for long trains of cars to be built, regardless of schedule or customer expectation.
The process has not only lowered CSX’s operating ratio by 60 percent and allowed for better customer service, but it also helped reshape the railroad industry to improve competition against the trucking industry. Due to the successes seen with CSX, other North American Class I railroads have adopted the model and seen similar results. As Wallace stated, “If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we’ll take it.”
CSX currently spans across 23 states, the District of Columbia and Canada, and services nearly two-thirds of Americans within its territory.