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A stronger focus on customer collaboration and improved asset utilization are helping CSX Corp. respond more effectively to market changes, Vice President and Chief Transportation Officer Cindy Sanborn said Friday at the RailTrends conference in New York City.Organized by Progressive Railroading, RailTrends was held Nov. 21-22 at the W New York Hotel."Growth in our merchandise and intermodal sectors — the most service-sensitive parts of our business — means that the dual goal of focusing on asset utilization while gathering customer feedback is imperative to continue delivering the high levels of service to which they are accustomed," said Sanborn, according to a press release issued by CSX.A dynamic resource planning model, which helps the Class I better deploy locomotives and rail cars, has provided ongoing productivity savings, she said. Along with a 6 percent gain in merchandise and intermodal business since 2011, the productivity savings helped offset a 21 percent decline in coal volume during that period. Improved locomotive utilization planning is expected to generate $20 million in productivity savings this year, and CSX remains on track to exceed $150 million in total productivity savings for 2013, said Sanborn.The Class I also is creating value for shippers through programs like Service Excellence, which is designed to emphasize customer engagement and service execution at all organizational levels, she said. With help from customer input, the railroad is improving rail-car utilization, transit times and real-time communication, said Sanborn."Superior service and coordination help set a foundation for our long-term growth," she said. "Our customer satisfaction levels are at an all-time high, and we continue to focus on using our assets more efficiently and incorporating customer feedback."
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