• ITVI.USA
    15,909.400
    -330.930
    -2%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.776
    0.014
    0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.610
    -0.170
    -0.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,915.300
    -318.010
    -2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,909.400
    -330.930
    -2%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.776
    0.014
    0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.610
    -0.170
    -0.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,915.300
    -318.010
    -2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American Shipper

Senators push for competitive switching rule

Three senators wrote to the Surface Transportation Board about rail service issues.

   Swift action on a rulemaking regarding competitive switching is needed in order to alleviate service problems confronted by shippers, according to senators representing Louisiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
   In a recent letter to the Surface Transportation Board, Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., David Vitter, R-La., and Al Franken, D-Minn., wrote that shippers in a wide variety of industries “are growing increasingly frustrated by the inconsistency and lack of options to ship their goods.”
   According to the senators, competitive switching, or allowing shippers to use different rail lines, would give shippers better service. Shippers that are served by only one railroad could request that, under certain conditions, their freight be transferred from one railroad to another. Giving shippers access to more rail service is important because of the impending bumper crop that could hinder rail service this fall, they wrote.
   “The losses for farmers left without means to move their goods to market could reach hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to the letter. “Power companies are facing fuel supply shortages that could result in plants shutting down and increased energy prices this winter. Businesses and consumers throughout our economy’s supply chain stand to be negatively affected by these disruptions.”
   The senators noted that the board has been looking into competitive switching since 2011, and that even when current law allows for competitive switching, shippers aren’t seeing any benefit.
   “Despite the protection in law, it is our understanding that no shipper has been able to take advantage of competitive switching,” they wrote. “This strongly suggests that the current rules are not working. Our states’ shippers desperately need this injection of competition into the market to increase the quality of their rail service.”

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