The failure of UPS to hedge fuel and the absolute failure to anticipate freight upturn rank as huge management shortcomings. I am an outsider to railroads and was completely aware the freight upturn was coming,. although not the big rise in oil. I bought heavily into NSC and, to a much lesser extent, into CSX. In July, I put some more money into railroads and bought UNP. In September, I sold half my NSC and bought more CSX. Railroads remain terrific investments. To me, it is a simple busines, moving stuff from point A to point B. The improvement in information flow should enable railroads to reduce capital expenditures, with less dwell time and better use of cars, etc. They face almost zero competition and it not likely they will face competition from China. I continue to hold UNP but am profoundly disappointed with such monumental management blunders.
I believe the same bunch were still in charge during the blown CNW merger and the SP merger meltdown. What a friendly board of directors they must have? They could just barely run the railroad when it was one fifth its current size. Yes no foreign competition or domestic either due to no surge capacity.