Norfolk Southern (NS) and CSX focus on short lines.
NS on Sept. 25 reported establishing a new First and Final Mile Markets department, centered on customers and collaboration. The aim: Delivering “integrated solutions that encompass rail, terminal and trucking to offer customers flexibility in their logistics choices,” according to the Class I.
The department is led by Stefan Loeb, a former Watco executive who in April took on the new NS role of Vice President First and Final Mile Markets to prioritize “innovation around first- and final-mile products and processes key to short- and long-term development.” According to NS, he refers to his team as the “Swiss Army knife of services,” covering four main areas:
- Short Line and Field Sales: “This group collaborates with direct interchange short lines and key local customers,” NS reported. “The Short Line and Field Sales team works with these business partners to ensure smooth operations and explore new opportunities.”
- Rail Integrated Solutions: NS said its terminal network, including Thoroughbred Bulk Transfer, Modalgistics, and Thoroughbred Freight Transfer, “provides customers solutions beyond the rail lines. Their goal is to create efficient supply chains and truck-like alternatives that use rail.”
- Crown Companies: NS wholly owned subsidiaries Triple Crown, Thoroughbred Direct Intermodal Services, and Thoroughbred Logistics Services explore “innovative solutions for the trucking needs of customers’ business, making it easier to choose rail as a shipping option,” according to the Class I.
- Short Line Performance: “This data-driven group is devoted to ensuring consistent interchange service is tracked, discussed and improved,” NS said.
According to the Class I, Loeb partners with the Marketing, Transportation, Network Planning, and Performance Excellence departments, “to design, track and adapt services to effectively meet customer needs.”
CSX reported holding its 32nd annual short line conference earlier this month. Attracting a record 350 participants, the event served as a platform for the Class I and its 240 short line and regional railroad partners to discuss collaborative operations and explore avenues for growth, according to CSX.
Featured executive speakers included CSX President and CEO Joe Hinrichs, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Kevin Boone, and Senior Vice President of Network Operations and Service Design Casey Albright. Bascome Majors from Susquehanna International Group was a guest speaker.
Participants attended market breakout sessions led by six CSX business units, interacted with 20 different CSX departments, and engaged in networking sessions with CSX and small-road representatives.
“CSX serves thousands of production and distribution facilities through track connections to our short line partners,” Tom Tisa, CSX head of Business Development, said. “This conference is essential to maintaining those strong relationships, which is the key to opening doors for creating meaningful future growth opportunities.”