Status of the Railroad - A Message from Kenny Rocker, EVP, Marketing & Sales

Announcement Number: CN2020-41
Categories: General Announcements
Posted Date: August 26, 2020

To Our Customers,
The month of August is coming to a close, and while this summer may have looked and felt a little different than what we may be used to, there are so many things to be thankful for, including our hard-working and dedicated teams, the great progress we are making to improve our service product — and most important — you, our customers.
Your business and the experience you have as a UP customer is very important to us. We want to ensure you stay up to speed on our progress toward making doing business with us the best experience it can be. I plan to continue to share updates like these with you each and every month.
Making Progress
Almost two months into this quarter, I am encouraged to see our carloadings on the rise. Our seven-day volumes are above levels we saw earlier in the year prior to the pandemic’s onset here in the U.S. 
In July, we saw a 10% increase in overall volume, with intermodal growing the fastest from a quick rebound in truck demand as retailers began to replenish their inventories. Most of our key operating metrics in July held steady at similar levels from June, but improved from last year. 
  • Freight Car Velocity (daily miles per day) – Car velocity was at 219, improving 6% from a year ago.
  • Freight Car Terminal Dwell (the amount of time a rail car spends in a Union Pacific rail terminal/yard) – We have seen a 7% improvement compared to this time last year.
  • Car Trip Plan Compliance (on-time shipment delivery) – Both Intermodal Trip Plan Compliance and Manifest/Auto Trip Plan Compliance were at 72%. Although Trip Plan Compliance (TPC) was down six percentage points for intermodal compared to a year ago, TPC improved by eight percentage points for manifest and auto service.
We continue to align our resources to handle the increase in demand and are excited to build on the positive momentum we’re seeing this month. And to specifically address the surge of intermodal demand, we are modifying our ingate windows at several intermodal terminals across our network to help manage gate and ramp fluidity. We continue to evaluate our terminal activity and will make any necessary adjustments to accommodate your needs and, at the same time, deliver the safe and reliable service you expect.  
Consolidating Houston Intermodal Operations
As part of UP’s operational strategy with Unified Plan 2020, we continue to make network changes to improve our service product. This fall, we will be consolidating our intermodal operations in the Houston area. 
To simplify ramp operations, our Settegast facility will continue to handle its current intermodal and manifest business, in addition to taking on the intermodal shipments currently managed by Englewood yard. After we move intermodal operations out of the Englewood facility, we will have additional capacity for our manifest operations at that location. 
This shift will further improve the network fluidity in the Houston area, providing you with safer and more consistent service – a major win for all customers.
Lastly, we have been keeping close tabs on the weather systems in the Gulf of Mexico this week. Our teams have made preparations to ensure any potential outages are addressed and repaired as quickly as possible. Resources, including generators and ballast, have been staged at strategic locations, fueling stations are being added and additional crews are on standby. As Hurricane Laura approaches the coast, our thoughts are with our customers, our employees and their families and communities in Texas and Louisiana.
As always, no matter what challenges head our way, we remain committed to providing you with a safe, solid service product and look forward to growing the business with you. Thank you for choosing Union Pacific as your rail transportation partner. We appreciate your business.
 Original | Kenny Rocker Signature
Kenny Rocker
Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales