Monday, March 05, 2012

No surprise: “Big Four” railroads among world’s “most admired” transport firms

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Three Class I railroads—Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern and CSX—and Berkshire Hathaway, parent company of BNSF Railway, have been named by Fortune magazine as among the world’s “Most Admired Companies” in 2011. UP, NS, and CSX were ranked No. 1, No. 3 and No. 6, respectively, among transportation, logistics, and trucking firms, while Berkshire Hathaway was named No. 3 overall on the 50 most admired companies. Together, UP, NS, CSX, BNSF comprise the “Big Four” Class I’s.

Fortune describes its Most Admired list “the definitive report card on corporate reputations. The industry rankings reflect the opinions of executives, directors, and analysts who are asked to rate companies in their own industry on nine different criteria. These aspects include innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, long-term investment, financial soundness, quality of products and services, and global competitiveness.” To arrive at the top 50 overall, Fortune’s research partner, the Hay Group, asked 4,100 executives, directors, and securities analysts to select the 10 companies they admired most. The survey included 673 companies from 32 countries.

How far our “bricks and mortar” industry has come in the space of a few years! Is it any surprise? Not to this magazine!

William Vantuono

With Railway Age since 1992, Bill Vantuono has broadened and deepened the magazine's coverage of the technological revolution that is so swiftly changing the industry. He has also strengthened Railway Age's leadership position in industry affairs with the conferences he conducts on operating passenger trains on freight railroads and communications-based train control.