Status of the Railroad - A Message from Kenny Rocker, EVP, Marketing & Sales
Announcement Number: CN2023-58
Categories: General Announcements
Posted Date: September 26, 2023
To Our Customers,
Fall has officially arrived – my daughters are back in school and football season is in full gear. As seasons change, it’s good to take a moment to reflect on what matters most to our customers – solid service. One key resource needed to support a solid service product is an engaged workforce. Our new labor agreements for sick leave and scheduled work are aimed to improve the quality of life for our craft professionals. As we implement these new agreements, this will require us to have the right number of crews available to move your shipments. Year to date, we have graduated over 1,800 crew employees. Our hiring pipeline currently has nearly 180 employees in training, and we are ramping up our hiring to make sure we remain adequately staffed heading into 2024. We also continue to utilize borrow-outs across the system to support customer demand.
Our focus on safety, service and operational excellence has led to an improvement in our service performance and a more resilient network. This was evident by Engineering’s work to quickly restore operations from Hurricane Hilary in southern California and the subsequent monsoons that washed out track along our key Sunset Corridor earlier this month.
In addition, the humanitarian crisis at the Southern border also led to operational impacts this month. Following the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol closing the Eagle Pass gateway, Jim Vena, along with Beth Whited and other Union Pacific leaders, traveled to Eagle Pass, Texas last Friday. Our leadership team met with more than 20 stakeholders and first responders in Eagle Pass, Texas, to see the migrant crisis firsthand, understand its impact and identify ways to get trains moving again. The gateway reopened on Saturday, September 23, and we are making good progress working through the backlog of shipments at the border. We are also reaching out to governmental officials and business allies to share what we’ve learned about the complexity and gravity of this situation at the border.
Here are our latest weekly metrics reported to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) on September 22. These metrics are compared to performance in mid-April 2022, and are based on the STB definitions for industry reporting:
- Car Velocity: Improved 17% to 207 miles per day.
- First Mile, Last Mile: Improved 3 points to 93%.
- Trip Plan Compliance (TPC):
- TPC Bulk (unit train): Improved 18 points to 84%.
- TPC Manifest: Improved 17 points to 76%.
- TPC Intermodal: Improved 13 points to 86%.
Faster Transit for Cross-border Intermodal Shipments
Earlier this month, we announced changes to our Mexico intermodal product offerings – Eagle and Falcon Premium – that create unmatched intermodal services, connecting the United States, Mexico and Canada. We removed a full day of transit time for customers shipping on Eagle and Falcon Premium’s route between Texas and Chicago. We have a great franchise and I’m excited that we are leveraging it to offer our customers a competitive product to win in the marketplace.
Growing the Business with Short Lines and Ports
Last week, we hosted our annual Short Line Railroad and Port Business Development Day, with a record attendance of nearly 120 participants representing 50 different short line and port partners. It was a great event to collaborate on business growth opportunities as well as strengthening our relationships with our partners. I look forward to working with our transportation partners to extend our reach for customers.
Thank you for choosing Union Pacific as your transportation provider. We will continue to work together with you to provide a safe, reliable service product to help you compete in the marketplace.
Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales