Measuring Performance in Rail Freight Transportation Companies

  •  Guilherme Frederico    
  •  Vagner Cavenaghi    


Performance Measurement Systems - PMSs has become relevant for Organizations in the last years taking into consideration the broad approach and the strategic link which the current performance measurement is focused on. Brazilian railroad transportation has poor performance when compared with other similar countries. The rail transportation production has 25% of participation within total transportation matrix. Besides infrastructure aspects, management is the key for the improvement of this performance. A Performance Measurement System - PMS framework using Balanced Scorecard – BSC structure is proposed aiming to allow a more comprehensive and strategic performance measurement in railroad companies. A systematic approach was used for the literature review. Due to the lack in the literature related to the purpose of this paper a long period was considered for the search of references linked to performance measurement for railroads. Aiming to elaborate a PMS framework for railroad companies a case study method was applied in a large Brazilian railroad company. Semi-structured interviews and documental data collection were used in order to get evidences related to the processes, environment, customers and strategic objectives as perspectives needed to elaborate a PMS based on Balanced Scorecard. This case study applied in a large freight railroad company in Brazil allowed to understand typical strategic objectives as well as processes, customer’s requirements and environment related to this kind of business. Balanced Scorecard was suitable to the performance measurement needs of the railroad company operation. It can measure operations performance comprehensively and strategically in an effective way. This study brings up important contribution in terms of PMS literature and it can be used as a reference guide for future researches focused on this field. Also it can be worth for practitioners who desire implement PMS in Organizations, not limited for railroad companies, but also for other kind of operations. This framework proposed is unique taking into consideration that there is no comprehensive PMS for a railroad companies using Balanced Scorecard structure. This same structure can be applied in more field researches seeking better understandings about performance measurement in freight railroad companies. Some research questions in order to solve future issues related to this study are proposed at the end of this paper.

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