Railroads ushered in the industrial revolution in the 19th century and continue to underpin economic growth. They have grown by perfecting new technologies and logistics, and automation can continue this legacy. Embracing automation is a pressing need, and railroads face threats to growth that demand action.
Precision scheduled railroading, a new operating philosophy that has taken hold in the industry, is constraining investment at a time when e-commerce is accelerating a shift towards customer-driven logistics (CDL). CDL will require railroads to build flexible networks that can deliver shorter, faster, more focused shipments to stay competitive. All modes of transportation will need to compete on speed, flexibility, and delivery options to grow market share. Once railroads determine that CDL is here to stay, automation will become an urgent priority.
Automation is how the railroad industry will satisfy its customers and shareholders in the long term, and forward-thinking industry leaders should embrace this next great transformation. Read more about this topic.