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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Customer-focused program helps BNSF move more damage-free carloads


Since 1998, Burlington Northern Santa Fe's "Resource Protection Solutions" group has conducted random carload inspections to ensure that shippers follow the railroad's safe-loading practices.

During 2002, the group has helped BNSF move more damage-free shipments from origin to destination and reject fewer carloads. The railroad so far has rejected 2 percent of inspected loads because of unsafe loading practices compared with 4 percent in 2001, according to a prepared statement.

When the program started, BNSF’s rejected-load rate was 10.4 percent.

"The reduction of unsafe loads on our network is so important in preventing damage to customer goods as well as preventing serious derailments on our network," said Reed Gaulding, BNSF director, load and ride solutions, who attributed BNSF's improvement over the past four years to daily interaction with shippers and increased customer-training efforts.