In today’s modern society, railroads are perhaps seen as a relic of the past. They were the stars of old western movies, and played an enormous part in the industrialization and the expansion of the U.S. But today, with talks of autonomous semi-trucks, larger-than-life cargo planes, and environmentally-friendly freight ships, it’s not out of place to assume that people don’t know much about trains and rails, or what makes them so vital.
“We imagine that a lot of people’s knowledge of railroads extends to the fact that Warren Buffet owns one, so it might be a profitable industry. But trains are not just an inconvenience that makes people wait in traffic occasionally at a rail crossing,” shared Andreea Geanta, CEO of Harbor Rail Services Company.
To put it in perspective, Geanta shared that each person in the U.S. requires the movement of about 40 tons of freight every year: 40 percent of that freight is moved via rail. There are also an impressive 1.6 million railcars carrying freight in the U.S. alone. Each one of these needs to run efficiently, smoothly, and, most important of all, safely. This is where Harbor Rail Services comes into the picture.
Harbor Rail Services provides quality railcar repair and maintenance, FRA inspection, cleaning, and pre-trip services. Its current customers include Class I railroads, short lines, regional railroads, railcar owners, and shippers.
“Railroads are in the business of moving freight. We’re the ones who help keep these railways and their customers moving,” Geanta said.
This 30-year-old company has seen a lot over its history, and has recently experienced a great track record of growth. Mark Myronowicz, Founder of Harbor Rail Services, attributes this success to keeping high standards of quality and sticking to the company’s core values.
According to Geanta, the rail world is a pretty close-knit community where it takes time to earn the big players’ trust. With Harbor Rail Services’ sustained efforts, competitive pricing, and work ethic, the rail community has awarded the company contract after contract.
Hiring a director of sales six years ago opened the doors for Harbor Rail Services to explore different markets beyond the Class I railroads. As a result, Harbor Rail Services has seen substantial growth in its short line rail division.
“Customers trust our work, and know that we will keep them in compliance. It’s the way we communicate, the quality of work that we do, it brings people back again and again,” Myronowicz said.
“We jump through hoops to serve our customers,” Geanta added. “We inspect every single car, something that sets us apart from some of the competition. With us, our customers have a lower rate of exceptions from audits by the Federal Railway Administration (FRA) and the American Association of Railroad (AAR).”
These audits are incredibly important to keeping the U.S.’s railways safe.
“Even something that starts small can cause huge damage or derailment,” said Thomas Broderick, Senior Vice President of the organization. “When companies partner with us, their compliance improves tremendously.”
Hiring a director of sales six years ago opened the doors for Harbor Rail Services to explore different markets beyond the Class I railroads. According to Geanta, safety is almost like a religion to the employees and managers at Harbor Rail Services. Employees start the day with a 15-minute safety briefing and stretching. During the day, managers will check in every two hours to observe employees and make sure they are wearing and using the right equipment and following the company’s safety rules.
One of Harbor Rail Services most recent safety strategies is gaining a lot of ground within the company. Broderick detailed the company’s Safe Track Certification Program.
“Every employee, supervisor, and manager has access to the program,” he said. “All of our company’s information and training on safety is available in one place for anyone who wants or needs to access it.”
The platform provides testing standards in two ways: written tests and field tests, where managers can observe safety conduct on the job.
“In this industry, and especially at this company, safety comes first,” Myronowicz added. “Our main objective is to send everyone home safe at the end of each day.”
Harbor Rail Services keeps America moving. Its high standards for quality and ardent approach to safety have made the company the industry standard for railcar repair and inspection.
“We can react quickly, we can set up and open an operation in a 30 days or less if that’s what the customer needs,” said Broderick.
“Harbor Rail Services is more than a business” said Geanta. “By partnering with the railroads to safely deliver the goods in your neighborhoods, our 500 dedicated employees are honored to play a small role in helping each and every one of you to achieve the American dream.”