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Transforming the customer experience

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A lot has changed since Freightliner’s acquisition by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) three years ago. Over the past 12 months, the business has been reorganised around its three core service platforms: rail, road and terminals. The objective is to offer customers a broader range of logistical services and take their experience to the next level.

Investment in digital platforms is driving performance at Freightliner to facilitate future growth, and the transformation in customer experience is set to continue in 2019.

An upgrade to the Felixstowe branch line will enable more and longer freight services from Felixstowe and Southampton ports and Freightliner plans to follow up the success of its newly opened electric locomotive depot in Crewe with the construction of a new wagon maintenance depot at Ipswich Top Yard. Extensive remodelling of the track layout and sidings is currently being undertaken, and work is expected to start in early 2019, with the new facility being fully operational by the end of the year.

Following the successful delivery of more than 800,000 tonnes of ballast to HS1, Freightliner is also preparing to support HS2 by investing in its resource base, as well as new 102-tonne MWA open-topped box wagons that will be strategically placed in the business.

Safety – top priority

This year, Freightliner staff have taken part in Women in Rail’s Big Rail Diversity Challenge, the RailSport Games and they have supported many charities both locally and nationwide. Freightliner let its employees nominate charities which they felt deserved a donation. This scheme – now going into its 6th year – allows a number of charities to receive a donation of £1,000.

In 2017, Freightliner’s Birmingham operations manager, Adrian Pattison, and MSO, Mark Neal won the Rail Safety Person or Team of the Year category at the RailStaff Awards.

Lindsay Durham, head of rail strategy, said the win was a reflection on the business’ strong safety culture.

“Safety continues to be our top priority, and we focus on continuously enhancing our safety culture,” said Lindsay.

“We are proud to report that so far this year, 23 Freightliner sites have celebrated 1,000 days injury-free. This tremendous achievement is a reflection of the commitment and focus by our teams to make a real difference in making the operating environment safe for everybody.“

Top class customer service

Freightliner is sponsoring this year’s Outstanding Customer Service category, which last year was won by TransPennine Express’ Nicola May. As an organisation which is dedicated to providing a top class customer service, Lindsay said it was the perfect choice.

“We deeply value all our people. Our customers rely on us for the timely delivery of their goods or materials, and our people are what makes that happen day after day, night after night, whatever the weather, and we appreciate that working at three in the morning in the rain or snow is challenging.

“Each year, rail freight operators in the UK transport goods worth over £30 billion – from groceries which keep our supermarkets stocked to clothing or high-end goods – rail freight is an intrinsic part of our lives without many of us realising it.”

She added: “The safety and welfare of all our colleagues is always our top priority. Business success can only be achieved through their hard work and through our teams working together. We want everyone to be the best they can be and are committed to providing development opportunities to ensure everyone who wants to, reaches their full potential.”

To find out about attending the 2018 RailStaff Awards, visit www.railstaffawards.com

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