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Customer advisory board fosters valuable feedback, BNSF says

Burlington Northern Santa Fe hosted its sixth semi-annual Customer Advisory Board (CAB) meeting Sept. 16-17 in Portland, Ore.

Based on shipper feedback BNSF received at its spring CAB meeting, the railroad gave presentations describing how BNSF is working with interline railroads and other partners to operate a more fluid network; attempting to expand its franchise, such as through from shuttle stations and its new Joliet, Ill., intermodal park; and trying to provide transportation solutions that would reach beyond its physical network.

BNSF leaders also discussed the railroad’s public/private partnership strategy.

"BNSF utilizes several listening tools to get feedback from customers, including customer symposiums, a quarterly customer satisfaction survey and semi-annual Customer Advisory Board meetings," said Matthew Rose, BNSF chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. "And while we’re careful not to burden customers with repeated requests for feedback, we often do initiate changes within BNSF based on the information we receive from the CAB."

After the presentations, the railroad hosted general discussions led by independent third-party facilitators, which enabled CAB members — including National Industrial Transportation League President Ed Emmett, and representatives from such shippers as American Honda Motor Co., Coors Brewing Co., EKA Chemicals Inc., J.C. Penny Co. Inc. and Weyerhaeuser Co. — to provide feedback on the topics.

BNSF plans to hold its next CAB meeting in April 2003.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/18/2002