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CN banks on e-business to help boost revenue, Tellier says


Becoming a scheduled railroad helped Canadian National Railway Co. simplify its business processes — CN next plans to rely on e-business to make it easier for customers to conduct business with the railroad and generate more-profitable revenues.

That's the business approach CN President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Tellier described Nov. 12 at The CIO Summit in Toronto, according to a prepared statement.

CN's Service Reliability Strategy (SRS) information technology has enabled the Class I to provide more-precise shipment tracing and tracking, and was key to CN's scheduled service plan.

The railroad also during the past year has added easier-to-do-business applications to its Web site, enabling customers to calculate transit time, order equipment up to six months in advance, create and transmit bills of lading, automatically receive car location messages and access CN's eBill dispute resolution feature.

Although CN plans to use information technology to help increase revenues, "this has been difficult in the past — the fixed costs of maintaining a rail infrastructure are so high that railways have traditionally locked into long-term, fixed-price contracts over time," said Tellier.

But CN's scheduled service enables the railroad to provide a very precise, highly valued service and charge an optimum price for that service — the next step is to better use information technology as a tool for providing the service, enabling CN to gather and sort information required to price that service on the market, said Tellier.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/13/2001