Alan Shaw discusses strategic progress at NS with CNBC’s Morgan Brennan

President and CEO Alan Shaw sat down with CNBC’s Morgan Brennan to share his perspective on the deliberate actions Norfolk Southern is taking to build a safer, more profitable railroad.

Watch the full interview below:

“Ours is the winning strategy”

Alan set the record straight regarding Norfolk Southern’s significant strategic progress and clear path to drive productivity. Alan outlined that how our balanced strategy is delivering results and creating A Better Way for Norfolk Southern and the rail industry.

He told Morgan:  

“We’re making great strides in our service product. We have undergone a number of operational changes since last fall, most recently hiring of John Orr, a 40-year industry veteran who’s had an immense amount of success installing PSR at three different railroads. And right now, over the last thirty days, I’m seeing our train speed is up 10%. Our terminal dwell…is down 10%. Our intermodal service product is the best it’s been in a decade, and our merchandise service product is the best that it’s been in a couple years.”

Stakeholders seeing progress

A core tenet of our balanced strategy is engaging with customers, employees, and regulators to responsibly deliver sustainable, long-term growth without sacrificing service and safety. By doing so, we’re strengthening relationships with the key stakeholders who fuel our success. Reflecting on his conversations with customers, Alan told Morgan:

“We’re delivering a really good service product to our customers, and our customers are seeing it and rewarding us with new business.”

The craft colleagues who run Norfolk Southern’s railroads have also widely echoed their support for Norfolk Southern’s strategy. Alan said:

“We remain really engaged with our union workforce. We still have the support of 11 of our 13 unions…It was just this Saturday, I and John Orr, our Chief Operating Officer, were in a crew room in Chicago talking to our craft colleagues about our vision, their pride of working for Norfolk Southern, their pride of serving their customers, and it was a great conversation. They’re giving us a lot of good feedback on how to make NS more productive and safer. And that’s why an engaged workforce matters to our shareholders, because an engaged workforce is a safer workforce, and it's a more productive workforce.”

What success looks like for NS

When asked by Morgan how he views success for Norfolk Southern ahead of this year’s annual meeting, Alan explained:

“For us, success is driving long-term shareholder value, and it’s doing it in a safe and responsible manner. And there’s only one vision that does that, and that’s our vision. To balance safety, productivity and growth, and drive long-term shareholder value. We’re on the right path, we’ve got the right leadership team, we’re focused on productivity and we’re targeting 400-500 basis points of productivity in the second half of this year, and a sub-60 OR in the next 3-4 years, and doing it in a responsible manner that brings along our customers and our employees, and our shareholders and our regulators.”

Visit to read more about how Alan, our board and our management team are building a better railroad for Norfolk Southern.

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