KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, US — Kansas City Southern (KCS) on Dec. 2 announced that it achieved record daily average grain carloads in November, exceeding the previous record for daily average grain carloads set in October of this year. KCS said it achieved this record by delivering all-time low cross-border grain shuttle train cycle times.

“These grain milestones are the result of continuous improvement initiatives and an intense focus on our service,” said John Orr, executive vice president operations at KCS. “They are the result of months of challenging our historic processes and engaging at a deeper level to improve our customer value proposition.”

KCS’ rail lines receive and originate shipments of grain and grain products for delivery to a variety of consumers in the United States and Mexico. KCS’ cross-border grain shipments represent some of the longest lengths of haul on the network, originating in the midwestern US states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska and moving into central and southern Mexico.

“Based on a record of strong operational performance, KCS is able to provide consistent and excellent service to its customers,” said Michael Naatz, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at KCS. “Our grain customers have benefited from improved equipment availability and cycle times, better positioning them to win in their markets.”

KCS said an intense cross-functional focus on customer service and operational performance is driving near record velocity and dwell performance at KCS. These improvements in performance metrics benefit grain customers, as well as KCS’ customers in all other sectors, it said.

Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, US, KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the United States, Mexico and Panama.

Earlier this year, KCS was the target of a bidding war between Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and Canadian National Railway. CP ultimately prevailed, announcing on Sept. 15 it had entered into an agreement to acquire KCS in a stock and cash transaction representing an enterprise value of approximately $31 billion, which includes the assumption of $3.8 billion of outstanding KCS debt.

In early November, CP and KCS announced they have jointly filed a railroad control application with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) regarding the proposed transaction to create Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), the only single-line railroad linking the United States, Mexico and Canada.