Friday, June 01, 2012

Grain shippers: UP “top-performing” railroad

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For the second year in a row, Union Pacific was selected as the top performing railroad by leading U.S. agricultural shippers in the third annual Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) Railroad Report Card, the coalition announced Thursday.

BNSF Railway once again finished second, while CSX Transportation climbed to third place from its fifth-lace ranking in 2011, the coalition said. Survey respondents once again ranked Canadian Pacific in last place.

The survey was completed anonymously by agricultural shippers of various sizes and scale of operations and was comprised of the same 11questions from 2010 and 2011 categorized under: on-time performance, customer service, and costs.

The coalition pointedly noted, "Railroads continue to receive higher ratings for customer service than for cost issues. Respondents continue to express concern about accessorial charges— arguing that they are simply another avenue for generating revenue rather than a legitimate cost."

The seven Class I railroads annually transport more than 27 million tons of soybeans (900 million bushels), 20 million tons of soybean meal, and 7 million tons of soybean oil, the coalition said.

The seven Class I railroads were ranked as follows:

1.) Union Pacific Railroad

2.) Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway

3.) CSX Transportation

4.) Norfolk Southern Railway

5.) Canadian National Railway

6.) Kansas City Southern Railway

7.) Canadian Pacific Railway