CN unveils all-in-one mobile app for customers

The Class I’s new mobile app — which consolidates all electronic customer tools, including shipment tracking — was launched Feb. 16. CN

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor 

For the past several years, CN has offered a CN Rail mobile application that incorporates a variety of features. 

CN Rail can be used to trace shipments, access CN news, browse intermodal terminal addresses and operating hours, find contacts at the company, search jobs and learn more about the Class I.  

But CN’s technology team last year determined the app had run its course in terms of providing what customers need and demand these days. So, to make it easier for shippers to do business with CN, the railroad sought an app that consolidates shipment tracking and other vital electronic customer tools.  

Enter CN One. Launched Feb. 16, the new mobile app is designed to provide a snapshot of a carload or intermodal shipment on CN’s network in real time so it’s easier and more reliable for shippers to monitor freight movements.  

Developed by the Class I’s technology team and an undisclosed service provider, CN One is available online or in the Apple and Google Play app stores. The app offers intuitive map views and multiple tracking features to view, search, filter and share critical shipment information. All information is customizable to suit a shipper’s needs. 

CN One serves as a central point of information and provides end-to-end shipment visibility, said Mohit Bhat, CN’s vice president of digital customer solutions, innovation, digital platforms and cloud transformation, in an email. 

It replaces the older CN Rail app, which will be decommissioned, adds Bhat, who in 2021 was selected by Progressive Railroading as a Rising Star, or someone who’s considered an up-and-coming leader in the North American rail industry. 

CN One CN One replaces the outdated CN Rail app, which will be decommissioned. CN

CN One provides the following advantages over the outdated CN Rail app: a contemporary and more modern user interface; simpler data permissions management; more information and data fields; an intuitive map view; the ability to save previous searches and share search results; and availability on both Apple iPhones and Google Androids. 

“The biggest advantage is that the new app is simple and easy to use, and gives our customers access to shipment information anytime, anywhere,” said Bhat. 

A CN customer council — which includes a selected mix of intermodal and carload customers — provided input that was used during the app’s development phase. 

“Development sessions with our customers helped us better understand their pain points and also permitted us to show them our prototype and early-stage design of the app,” said Bhat. “This collaborative approach with our customers helped us to also receive their feedback and incorporate it into the design.” 

The major hurdles during development: extracting and transforming data, applying several business rules from CN’s legacy systems and presenting them on a user interface in a way that made sense for customers, he added. 

Although CN One has been available only a short time, the Class I already has received some positive feedback from users. The app has received high praise on its look, that a map appears when tracking a shipment, and that it’s faster and provides better details, Bhat said. 

In addition, no users have citied issues with downloading CN One from the Apple Store. 

“They are satisfied with all the data elements currently being displayed on the app,” Bhat said.