Push to Achieve What’s Possible

By Jim Vena, Chief Executive Officer

Message from Jim Vena Updated Graphic | MR

The results we are delivering prove what is possible. The freight market has been tough, but as we focus on our Safety, Service and Operational Excellence strategy, we are building a solid foundation for long-term growth. Our results show notable improvements across the board. Our network is more fluid, efficient and resilient, enabling us to deliver the service we sold our customers. Because of increased efficiency and our improved service, our financials are strong. Thank you for the role you play in our success.

Note: In this letter to employees, Jim recaps Union Pacific's first quarter performance and financial results.

Our most important priority continues to be safety. We have made strides in safety since last year, reducing injuries by 15% and our reportable derailment rate by 6%. We reduced overall track-related derailments by 28% over the past 10 years. However, when we fatally lose a teammate, numbers mean little.

As you may know, earlier this month one of our employees was fatally injured in McNeil, Arkansas, while working on the replacement of a culvert. Despite the swift response of team members and emergency personnel, he did not return home to his family and children. I visited the site where we lost him and met with the team who worked beside him for years. This tragic loss is a very unfortunate reminder we must not relent in our safety journey. We must do everything in our power to ensure everyone goes home safely. This is our most important goal. It is at the heart of everything we do and how we do it.

I am counting on all of us to do everything in our power to be the best at safety. Our mindset and culture are how we will succeed. We are taking steps to continue improving our culture including re-visiting and evaluating the Employee Engagement Survey process for potential improvement opportunities, ensuring leaders spend more time in the field with our teams closest to the work, and ensuring we all hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards.

This year we have work to do. That work is grounded in the five foundational tenants of our Safety, Service and Operational Excellence = Growth strategy:

2024 Strategy Graphic | O

To further deliver the service we sold our customers, we recently introduced a new measure called the Service Performance Index, or SPI. It’s a metric that reflects the actual service we provided based on our historical performance – which is different for each customer depending on their needs and priorities. We believe SPI is a better indicator of service performance than Trip Plan Compliance alone. In the first quarter, Intermodal’s SPI improved by 14 points, and Manifest and Auto by 7 points. These results are good, but just the beginning of what is possible.

This year and beyond, I am asking everyone to think about what is possible – and to push ourselves to achieve it. 

Thank you.

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