Spring 2016 Message from Katie Farmer
Dear BNSF Customer,
With the first quarter now complete, I want to give you an update on what we are focused on for 2016. The record capital expenditures we have made over the past few years have allowed us to expand our network and improve our ability to deliver superior, consistent service to meet your growing needs.
Our intermodal service continues to be the best in the industry. Through March of this year, BNSF intermodal velocity, measured in miles per hour, was 17 percent faster than the average for the U.S. Class 1 railroad industry and our On Time Performance is nearly 90 percent vs. 77 percent during the same time period in 2015.
Recently we announced our 2016 capital plan of $4.3 billion. It is expected that this investment will be our third-largest capital expenditure program in our history and will include projects that will directly benefit our intermodal customers. In addition to the investments we are making to ensure we continue to maintain our core network and related assets, we are investing in key intermodal routes like the Southern Transcon route, which connects the West coast to the major intermodal markets of Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and Kansas City. Specifically, we are building a new bridge and secondary track that cross the Pecos River in New Mexico. This new, added capacity, once completed later this year, will mean all but four miles of our 2,200-mile Southern Transcon route will be double tracked.
In addition to network track expansion, we are also focused on capacity expansion and process improvements at our intermodal hubs. Last year, we expanded capacity at eight of our facilities, which included additional production and support track, cranes and parking. These expansions, along with this year's projects, including the expansion of our Logistics Park Chicago (LPC) hub and new wide-span cranes at our Logistics Park Kansas City (LPKC) hub will further strengthen our ability to handle your business.
In mid-February, BNSF introduced RailPASS, a mobile device application specifically designed to improve efficiency for our trucking partners who move units in and out of BNSF hubs. The app will deliver a safer, easier and faster experience for drivers utilizing Quick Response (QR) code technology to enter and exit gates at most of our facilities. In just six weeks, more than 7,500 drivers have already downloaded the app and are actively using RailPASS to improve and accelerate their experience at BNSF Intermodal hubs. In addition to speeding up the driver's check-in and check-out, the app offers an emergency alert system that allows a driver to report a safety problem. Embedded GPS technology allows hub staff and emergency responders to quickly locate a driver using the emergency alert at one of our facilities. The app also offers easier access to container information, and reduces the need for drivers to stop at a driver assistance building. In the coming months, we plan to continue introducing new RailPASS enhancements and features that will further improve our carrier partners and ultimately our customer's experience with BNSF.
We appreciate the focus and continued efforts around collaboration as it relates to dwell reduction. Through joint efforts on the part of our carrier partners and the beneficial cargo owners dwell time has improved at key locations across the system. In the first quarter of 2016, BNSF saw average system dwell decrease by 20 percent when compared to the same quarter in 2015. Decreased dwell times are resulting in better velocity, throughput and driver efficiency - even amid first quarter volumes that were higher on a year over year basis. We look forward to continued collaboration in reducing dwell so that we can minimize waste in the supply chain and support future growth.
These are just a few of the areas that we are focused on for 2016. We are committed to providing the best service in the industry and to earn your business every day. Thank you for choosing BNSF Railway as your intermodal transportation service provider.
Group Vice President, Consumer Products