BB’s administrative team has lead responsibility for developing the company’s vision and mission, establishing company goals and objectives, monitoring business performance, maintaining existing customer relationships while generating new business, and planning for the future sustainability of the company.
Railroads are capital intensive businesses. Senior BB Executives confer monthly, quarterly and annually regarding strategic and capital planning. This planning process includes monitoring current and projected financial performance, identifying and evaluating new business opportunities, and allocating investment in track and structures and capital equipment purchases. Strategic and capital planning have been keys to the continued growth and sustainability of the Buckingham Branch for more than 27 years.
FINANCE & ACCOUNTING
BB’s finance and accounting team handles billables and accounts receivables, car hire accounting, and other finance functions. In addition the team is also responsible for monthly, quarterly and annual financial summaries prepared to inform management about the current financial standing of the BB, as well as to plan for future financial stability.
The Buckingham Branch has built its business model around outstanding customer service. Today, the BB has more than 40 freight customers, transporting products as diverse as cement, aggregate stone, lumber, chemicals, butane, agricultural commodities, food commodities, beer and wine. Outstanding customer service requires close communication among BB staff, customers, suppliers/shippers, our Class 1 railroad partners, transportation brokers, and other parties. Equally important, our customer service staff must ensure effective internal coordination with BB train crews so that those crews have up-to-the-minute information on the status of loaded freight cars for delivery and empty freight cars for pick up. We make every effort to respond to modifications in service schedules or special requests from our customers if at all possible.
Railroad freight rates are a complicated part of our business. The BB is a handling line railroad, which means that most often, our freight rates are submitted to either CSX or Norfolk Southern, the Class 1 Railroads with whom we interchange the freight, and the BB rate becomes part of the overall rate submitted by the Class 1 Railroad to the customer. Some rates for standard commodities are fixed by the BB and published as part of our Public Tariffs. These rates are periodically reviewed and updated as needed. For many of our customers, however, freight rates are calculated involving various factors, including the type of freight transported, the type of freight car used, whether the freight car is owned by a railroad, a private railcar company or the customer, the distance the freight will travel on the BB system, and other factors. Freight rates sometimes involve fuel surcharges as well. Our staff handling freight rates are committed to finding the best solution at the most affordable price for existing and new freight customers.
REAL ESTATE & CONTRACTS
The operation of BB trains across 275 miles of track is only possible with careful attention to the details of hundreds of real estate contracts and agreements covering ownership of real estate, at-grade crossing of highways and streets, easements across adjacent property owners, utility lines on railroad right of way, and myriad other property rights and obligations. Our real estate and contract staff also are reponsible for agreements with industrial customers located on the BB tracks for industry sidetracks necessary for delivery of freight from our main lines to customers. In addition, our real estate and contract staff also handle important grant agreements with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation covering Virginia Rail Preservation Funds and Rail Industrial Access Funds that help pay for track and structures improvements.
The Buckingham Branch offers comprehensive business development services to existing and new customers. Our business development program can assist you with finding a rail-served site or building located on our rail lines or we can help in your search for a transload site that combines long-term rail freight service with truck delivery or pick-up covering the last or first few miles of the freight trip. The transload combination of rail and truck transportation is the fastest growing sector of rail transportation. Transload service allows the BB to serve reach many more rail customers who are located within reasonable truck distance of our rail lines . We can assist your company directly with this research and decision or we can work with a site location consultant acting on your behalf. Our objective is to find the best and most affordable freight solution for your shipping needs.