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New CSX CEO promises improved service and culture

CSX Transportation CEO Joseph Hinrichs greets employees at a town hall meeting in Jacksonville, Fla., on Monday. It’s his first day on the job. CSX transportation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — CSX Transportation needs to improve its customer service and culture, CEO Joe Hinrichs told employees at a town hall meeting on Monday, his first day on the job. I was.

Hinrichs acknowledged the controversy over Precision Scheduled Railroading, but said CSX wouldn’t change its operating model. Because it’s hard to argue about his five core principles of CSX: operate securely, improve customer service, control costs, optimize asset utilization, and evaluate and develop employees. It’s from

CSX has made significant progress in safety, cost and asset utilization since adopting PSR in 2017, said Hinrichs, a longtime automotive executive who served as president of Ford Motor Co. increase. .

“I’ve been a customer for decades. Our customers don’t really love us,” says Hinrichs.

CSX has a huge opportunity to persuade customers to put their freight on rail by providing better service. “I’ve been on this other side for decades. We made a deal with railroads not because we wanted to, but because we had to,” he says.

The first order of business is to fully staff CSX to meet demand from existing customers. Second, CSX has to show customers what it can deliver. That way, railroads can win more business from current shippers and try to win new transportation by taking advantage of the cost and environmental advantages of railroads over trucking.

“If we deliver the service they expect with reliability and predictability, there are no limits,” says Hinrichs.

Hinrichs spoke at length about the importance of teamwork and the development of a successful corporate culture called One CSX. He wants to create an environment where employees feel valued and valued, work together, support each other, and are proud to work for the railway.

He encouraged employees to think about the great teammates they had in the past, how they could be better colleagues, and make changes within themselves.

“Awesome teammates… don’t curse or disrespect anyone. And hold yourself to that standard and hold your teammates to that standard. Just how we work together will determine the performance ,” says Hinrichs.

Hinrichs seeks to improve relations with unionized workers and labor leaders. “His first 100 days will be spent a lot of time in the field. I also learn about,” he says.

Hinrichs toured Jacksonville’s Moncrief Yard on Monday with Jamie Boychuk, the railroad’s vice president of operations. While there, he did the dirty work on freight cars, sat on a locomotive and was advised by employees on union issues before moving on to a tour of the dispatch center.

“You have to go out there in a way that makes your employees feel appreciated and part of One CSX,” he says.

The Hinrichs have already contacted the union leaders and plan to meet soon. “I think it’s important that they know that this relationship is important. I’m going to meet them instead of them coming to see me. Start building.

He adds: And we are going to do it. “

While at Ford Motor Co., Hinrichs led four national labor negotiations with United Auto Workers. General Motors and Chrysler both went on strike, but Ford didn’t because of his UAW ties, he says, Hinrichs.

Shortly after Hinrichs left Ford in 2020 amid a restructuring, he ordered a Lincoln Navigator online, just like his customers did. The SUV is finally here in May.

“There’s a plaque on the dashboard that says, ‘Made especially for Joe Hinrichs, from a friend at the Kentucky Truck Factory,'” says Hinrichs. “It’s been two and a half years since I’ve been gone. They’re not trying to get mad at the president — I’m not going back there. It means a lot to me. I mean, we’re doing it the right way.” We did things and people still take the time to appreciate and appreciate the relationship. Those are the things we want to do together.”

Hinrichs said there were no plans to change management at the railroad, tempering speculation analysts raised at a shippers’ meeting last week.

Hinrichs was warmly welcomed by nearly 1,000 CSX employees who attended the Town Hall meeting held at the Moran Theater, just steps away from CSX headquarters. Some of his comments were met with applause, but his self-deprecating humor elicited laughter, as did his remarks about his CSX locomotive.

“By the way, I’m an Ohio fan, so the colors on these locomotives are a bit like their competitors,” he said, referring to Big Ten rival Michigan’s corn and blue.

“I never said we would change them,” he said with a laugh. ”

The town hall meeting was also open to CSX employees via webcast. train obtained a record of this event. This record lasted nearly 90 minutes for him and included his stepping down CEO Jim Foote.

CSX Transportation CEO Joseph Hinrichs (left) and former CEO Jim Foote greet employees at a town hall meeting in Jacksonville, Fla., on Monday. CSX Transportation