“As we round out June and officially head into summer, I’m encouraged by the progress the team has made to provide a better customer experience for you,” Union Pacific (UP) Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales Kenny Rocker told customers in a June 20 railroad status report. “The network continues to remain fluid as we build upon the service improvements that we’ve made over the past couple of months. Car velocity across the network has exceeded 200 miles per day for the ninth consecutive week, driving better on-time performance for you.”
According to Rocker, UP has graduated more than 900 crew employees, and its hiring pipeline “continues to remain strong with more than 1,100 employees in training.” Additionally, the railroad has more than 200 borrow-outs deployed across the system to support customer demand. “Our team continues to work closely together to be more agile and adjust our resources to where they are needed the most,” he said.
Rocker provided the latest weekly metrics reported to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) on June 16. Compared with mid-April 2022 performance and based on the STB definitions for industry reporting, they include:
• Car Velocity: “Improved 17% to 206 miles per day.”
• First Mile, Last Mile: “Improved 3 points to 93%.”
• Trip Plan Compliance (TPC):
—TPC Bulk (unit train): “Improved 22 points to 88%.”
—TPC Manifest: “Improved 18 points to 77%.”
—TPC Intermodal: “Improved 18 points to 91%.”
Rocker also made note of UP’s launch earlier this month of an on-dock service at Barbours Cut Container Terminal at Port Houston, Tex., which offers inland rail service to five of the railroad’s intermodal facilities: Denver, Colo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Oakland and Los Angeles, Calif.; and El Paso, Tex. (see map below).
The new service is expected to not only reduce truck traffic and greenhouse gas emissions, but also “eliminate the need for containers to be trucked approximately 30 miles from the port to the nearest rail facility in Houston [Settegast Yard] for loading onto railcars, reducing highway congestion in the Houston area,” according to UP.
“I’m excited that our teams have designed this service to serve the Gulf Region,” Rocker reported.
“As always, we appreciate your business and value our collaboration together to make sure we provide a safe and reliable service product to help you compete in the marketplace,” Rocker summed up. “Moving forward, our team is ready to explore innovative solutions with you and further enhance our offerings to meet your evolving needs.”