FASTER, BETTER and more cost effective management of freight services was promised by Swiss Federal Railways President Benedikt Weibel on May 25, when he inaugurated SBB Cargo’s new customer service centre (KSC) at Freiburg. Built at a cost of SFr22m, the centre will provide a single point of contact for all shippers. Open 24h a day, seven days a week, KSC will also co-ordinate the railway’s freight marketing, sales and production management into one building.

Around 250 staff will work at KSC, replacing 400 scattered through Switzerland. The first teams moved into the centre in April, and the transfer should be complete by January 1 2001. SBB Cargo Director Per Utnegaard expects the new structure to improve responsiveness and generate annual savings of between SFr12m and SFr15m. From June 1, SBB Cargo’s field management, train crews and shunters have been grouped into 110 ’regional production teams’.