NGFA urges STB to improve rule to correct egregious rail carrier charges
The National Grain and Feed Association today submitted a detailed 22-page statement to the federal Surface Transportation Board urging that it make significant changes to its Oct. 7 proposed policy statement that is designed to encourage Class I rail carriers to amend their demurrage and accessorial practices and charges to make them commercially fair, as well as reciprocal if they are the cause of delays that trigger such charges.
“The NGFA is disappointed by the (STB’s) proposal not to establish bright-line rules to govern the commercial fairness, commercial achievability and reciprocity of rail carriers’ demurrage and accessorial tariffs,” the statement read.
“As has been amply demonstrated, the Class I railroads have little interest or incentive to be forthcoming or altruistic in amending their demurrage and accessorial policies voluntarily to conform with even the best principles and guidance developed by the agency …. [T]here is very little prospect that the current situation will improve in any demonstrable way unless significant improvements are made to the (STB’s) proposed approach.”
Former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and 80 of his colleagues last week introduced the Protect Farmers from the SEC Act.