Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Harrison to CSX shippers: “We apologize”

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CSX Chief Executive Hunter Harrison in a letter to the railroad’s customers apologized for mounting service issues, citing the rapid pace of operational changes he has implemented and blaming employees who have “pushed back” against those changes.

"The pace of change at CSX has been extremely rapid," Harrison wrote, "and while most people at the company have embraced the new plan, unfortunately, a few have pushed back and continue to do so. This resistance to change has resulted in some service disruptions."

Harrison promised that CSX “will continue to address these internal personnel matters,” and was “recommitted” to working with shippers to resolve service problems as quickly as possible.

After complaints by shippers the Surface Transportation Board on July 27 put CSX on notice that it would monitor the railroad's performance. The STB’s action came shortly after Railway Age Editor in Chief William C. Vantuono blogged about the increasing service issues on the CSX network. Harrison in turn penned a personal response.

The text of Harrison’s letter to customers:

“To our valued customers,

“Over the past four months, CSX has been undergoing a tremendous amount of change, including an operational transformation that will ultimately result in better service to our customers. We’re not at the finish line yet, but I’m personally writing you today to reaffirm our commitment to working with you individually to ensure you receive the support you require to meet your business needs.

“I think we can agree that more-reliable service and improved asset utilization is a win-win for your business and ours. It is with these intentions that we have focused our efforts – moving our customer’s freight consistently, reliably and cost efficiently.

“The pace of change at CSX has been extremely rapid, and while most people at the company have embraced the new plan, unfortunately, a few have pushed back and continue to do so. This resistance to change has resulted in some service disruptions. To those customers that have experienced such issues, we sincerely apologize. As we move forward, we will continue to address these internal personnel matters and our teams have recommitted themselves to reaching out to those affected to work through any service issues and resolve them as quickly as possible.

“Throughout our transformation, one thing that has remained constant is our dedication to our customers and the great effort we put forth to deliver the service you expect from CSX. Our operating and sales and marketing teams are collaborating closely to better ensure you are prepared for and work through any planned changes that may occur. I will remain engaged in overseeing our customer service and communications efforts, and appreciate your partnership and willingness to also remain engaged.

“We value your business and thank you for the opportunity to be your transportation provider.”

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