Norfolk Southern’s Automotive Distribution Group has received two Automotive Quality Excellence Awards for outstanding service from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
The awards are based on rigorous, unannounced audits of rail-served automotive facilities throughout North America.
Norfolk Southern won the Highest Quality Review Score for Destination Facilities by achieving a perfect score of 100% at its Titusville, Florida vehicle facility. This was the first perfect score ever given any facility since the AAR began its present audit programme in 1997.
According to a spokesperson, Titusville is a destination facility, where finished cars come in by rail and are then distributed to dealers. At the time of the audit, the facility handled Ford and Mitsubishi products. The site is currently handling only Mitsubishi.
Ford and Norfolk Southern renegotiated a long-term contract last year that eliminated numerous facilities and changed routing as well as rates to reflect the changes in Ford’s manufacturing footprint (read more here
Norfolk Southern also won the award for Greatest Overall Quality Review Score Improvement at Chrysler’s Jefferson automotive ramp in Detroit. Norfolk Southern began operating this facility two years ago. In that time, the facility’s score improved from 74% to 98.57%.
Jefferson is an origin facility, according to the company, where finished vehicles are loaded onto trains for delivery to destination facilities.
“With the perfect score [at Titusville], Norfolk Southern has set a higher bar that many in the industry believed was not achievable, and by winning awards two years in a row has a firm claim as the quality leader in automotive handling.”
The audits are based on compliance with AAR rules and regulations on the handling of automotive equipment for minimising damage. A Norfolk Southern spokesperson declined to comment over where the improvements have been made at Jefferson.