CSX Transportation was selected as the top performing railroad by leading U.S. agricultural shippers in the fourth annual Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) Railroad Report Card. Union Pacific Railroad, the top ranked railroad in 2011 and 2012, finished in second place. Norfolk Southern Railway climbed to third place from its fourth place ranking in 2012. Survey respondents ranked Canadian Pacific in last place for the third year in a row.
The survey was completed anonymously by agricultural shippers of various sizes and scale of operations and has been comprised of the same eleven questions since the report card’s inception. The questions are categorized under on time performance, customer service, and costs.
“We are encouraged that agricultural shippers are overall more satisfied with the rail service they receive,” said Pat Knouff, a soybean farmer from Minster, Ohio, and chairman of the Soy Transportation Coalition. For U.S. farmers to be profitable, having a responsive and reliable freight rail system is essential. This reliance on rail transportation is only expected to continue. It is therefore important for farmers, agricultural shippers, and railroads to work together to ensure we can continue to satisfy the needs of a growing and hungry world.”
Railroads, on average, achieved significantly higher ratings in 2013 on their ability to provide quality customer service and to resolve problems to the satisfaction of customers. Agricultural shippers rated railroads noticeably lower in providing adequate notification when price increases occur. Each year, over 900 million bushels (27.5 million tons) of U.S. soybeans are transported by rail. By the year 2020/2021, the volume moved by rail is estimated to increase to 1.4 billion bushels (42 million tons).
The full results of the survey can be found at www.soytransportation.org.