7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

Membership
Benefits
News and Issues
Departments
Information
Secretary-Treasurer
Merchandise
Communications
FELA
Events
Links
User Info

Agricultural retailers testify on excessive rail fees, urge STB to hold railroads accountable

(Source: Agricultural Retailers Association press release, May 22, 2019)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) testified before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) about excessive demurrage and accessorial charges against agricultural retailers and distributors.

ARA recommended that the agency allow for a more reasonable time frame (minimum 48 hours up to 96 hours) to load and unload shipments following shipping schedules created by the agricultural retailer and manufacturer as the current 24-hour time frame is too short. In addition, ARA recommended STB require the railroads provide daily progress reports to the shipper so they know the exact location of the rail cars to increase compliance. Reciprocal demurrage charges should be imposed on the railroads to ensure commercial fairness and accountability.

In the testimony, ARA Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Counsel Richard Gupton told the STB that ARA members (ag retailers, distributors, and manufacturers) are continually impacted by poor rail service that includes bunching of rail cars and imposed high demurrage charges.

“ARA and its members believe the excessive charges being imposed by the Class 1 railroads are commercially unfair and lack appropriate reciprocity as it relates to non-performance by the railroads.” Gupton said. “The charges are well above and beyond the intent of the STB demurrage liability regulations that are designed to encourage efficient loading and unloading of product … ”

From ARA’s perspective, it appears the railroads are trying to generate income by any means possible. The largest driver of the demurrage charges relates to bunching as some cars sit in the yard for several days while additional cars arrive, and the railroads try to deliver them all at once.

“The railroad industry has changed dramatically over the past three decades. If the railroads are left to continue to operate in their present state and impose excessive freight rates and demurrage charges, the nation’s agricultural productivity will be negatively impacted, and consumers will be impacted by higher food costs.”

ARA thanks the STB for holding this important oversight hearing and looks forward to working with the agency and railroads to provide a more efficient system, commercial fairness, foster increase competition and accountability.

See link below to read ARA’s testimony as prepared for the record.

http://image.email.aradc.org/lib/fe9113727d62067f76/m/1/9cba130f-3c7f-4049-99ce-4b879963755f.pdf

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Like us on Facebook at
Facebook.com/BLETNational

Sign up for BLET News Flash Alerts

© 1997-2019 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

 


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts

DAILY HEADLINES

U.S. rail traffic volumes have fallen for 20 straight weeks
Opinion: Is the death of rail-hauled coal true or premature?
Oregon house proposes oil train fees to fund spill planning
Pro-worker labor bill becomes law in Nevada
Virgin will be the fastest train ever in the southern U.S. when Orlando service starts
Hartford Line beats expectations with 634,000 trips in first year
Sysco-Boston drivers ratify contract that improves and secures jobs
More major Amtrak repairs start at NY Penn Station
End of the Hoosier State line is a loss for air quality, environmentalists say
How did the Heartland Flyer get its name?
RRB issues statements of service (Form BA-6)
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines