The railroad industry's main competition, the trucking industry, faces continued high labor and fuel costs. Railroads are implementing technological improvements, and a single train can ship what would require 500 trucks to move. With wildly volatile oil prices and many fewer employees required to operate trains, customers will find that UNP is significantly cheaper than its trucking competitors.
In 2009, Fortune magazine named Union Pacific the railroad industry's "Most Admired" company. Among all railroads, UNP ranked first in all nine "key attributes of reputation:" innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment, and global competitiveness. Union Pacific's strong reputation and good relations with its customers will be a real asset during 2009 amidst the pressures of the worsening economy.