Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Tran, Bella. BNSF Strategic Analysis. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. May 2022.


Copyright Bella Tran 2022.


Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC. (BNSF), is an American railroad that is concentrated in the western two-thirds of the U.S. This railroad has a history stretching back over a century that has led the company to now function as one of the leading Class I Railroad with over 30,000 employees and over 30,000 miles of laid track. Two methods of analysis were used to examine the competitive environment in which BNSF operates. The first is the PESTEL analysis which examines the macro-environment. The second is Porter’s Five Forces which analyzes the competitive environment of an industry. The analyses concluded that BNSF’s competitive advantage lies in its scale of operations and parent company, Berkshire-Hathaway. By sustaining an appropriate level of network growth, BNSF may continue to lead U.S. railroads moving into the future.