September 27, 2017 11:30 AM, EDT

IANA Honors Former Norfolk Southern Executive with Silver Kingpin Award

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

LONG BEACH, Calif. — The Intermodal Association of North America bestowed Robert Huffman with the Silver Kingpin Award, honoring the retired Norfolk Southern intermodal executive whose career spanned 41 years.

Established in 1977, the Silver Kingpin recognizes an individual’s long-term contributions to the intermodal industry.

Huffman’s career began in 1972 with Conrail, where he worked his way up from a block operator to a terminal superintendent at the Conway Yard in Pennsylvania. He joined Norfolk Southern in 1999 and retired in 2013 as the vice president of intermodal.

“Bob’s career has been spent advancing the intermodal industry,” IANA President Joni Casey said. “His accomplishments in moving the community forward by increasing rail freight capacity, reducing equipment errors, and guiding the next generation of intermodal leaders are all representative of a career and an individual to be admired and honored with this award.”

IANA noted that Huffman’s R3 initiative (right lane, right car and right unit) while at Norfolk Southern improved the company’s overall efficiency.

“Intermodal, by it’s very definition, is a series of partnerships. And for those partnerships to be successful, we need to keep each other healthy and vibrant. IANA is the ideal venue to address the issues of the industry and fix them in house,” Huffman said. “When I entered intermodal, it was kind of the red-headed stepchild of the railroad industry. We have advanced it to the point today where it’s the growth engine of the railroads. We’ve come a long, long way.”