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How Union Pacific Improves Rail Connections

How Union Pacific Improves Rail Connections

Rail connections that provide transport alternatives will ultimately be the first choice for customers seeking reliable options as well as opportunity. Customers value flexibility and more importantly, trust. The more integrated, the better.

Take the Union Pacific Railroad’s Tacoma South Intermodal Terminal, for example. It covers more than 40 acres of land, is equipped to handle 150,000 annual lifts, and has a location next to western Washington’s warehousing, transloading and distribution centers, and local highways.
The TacSim service runs between the Pacific Northwest and the major markets of Chicago, the Midwest and the eastern United States, creating a major competitive advantage in the region. The location and commodities provided create more opportunities for innovative efficiencies and options.
Prior to the October 2018 launch of Union Pacific Railroad’s Unified Plan 2020, customer needs were identified as a major contributor to the implementation of Precision Scheduled Railroading principles. At the time, expectations were simply not being met and the 2020 Plan was the solution to resolve the lack of customer satisfaction and get back to a place where customer needs were more than just met.

Union Pacific announced a shift in leadership early this year to provide additional leadership and expertise for Unified Plan 2020. Jim Vena, the former executive vice president and chief operating officer for Canadian National, stepped into the position of chief operating officer as of Jan. 14.
“Unified Plan 2020 combines precision scheduled railroading principles with our own UP Way tools and best practices,” says Union Pacific’s CEO Lance Fritz. “We have been making excellent strides rolling out Unified Plan 2020, and Jim’s vast knowledge of the precision scheduled railroading model brings significant experience and expertise that will enhance the work already underway.”

From leadership to automation, on-dock rail connections continue to make strides in competitive regions by raising the bar for customers and creating a fresh approach through higher standards. Customer demands will only continue to rise and challenge the industry to not only meet but exceed expectations, and it’s ultimately up to the experts and leaders to ensure operations from the ground up are set up for success.

Rail Connections Vital for Global Trade and Transport Success

Integrating business operations with the best on-dock rail connections is critical to the continuation of trade and transport. In leveraging these connections, roadblocks are eliminated for both importers and exporters in situations where transportation options unexpectedly shift from ship to rail, as recently reported with Schweizerzug AG.

Luckily for Schweizerzug, the increased demand for train and rail capacity didn’t propose a problem but rather provide an opportunity to implement a solution and demonstrate to customers the company’s level of preparedness and flexibility. As a result of shallow water levels in the Rhine, frequencies were increased on the Antwerp route that provides direct access to the Antwerp Gateway 1700 terminal. Connections such as this provide full access options to every terminal at the port of Antwerp. The problem was quickly solved and customers were kept happy.

“We are excited about this next step in Schweizerzug’s ongoing expansion to offer our customers more connectivity and services between Switzerland and Antwerp,” comments Schweizerzug AG’s CEO Roman Mayer. “Shippers in both Switzerland and neighboring regions will profit from our reliable and time-saving rail services.”

He adds that “the events of the past few months have underscored yet again just how vital rail is–and will remain–for the transport of goods. Schweizerzug plans to continue further developing its range of transport products to meet market demand with the very best level of service available.”

Industry leaders aren’t wasting time in 2019 to create more opportunities to deliver the most variety to customers. And why should they? There’s no time like the present to expand what is proving successful.