American Shipper

Shippers ask STB for more rail competition

Shippers ask STB for more rail competition

   A group of 40 shippers and business advocacy groups are asking the U.S. Surface Transportation Board for increased rail competition and improvements to the rate regulatory process.

   'While the STB's recent decision to lower filing rates for shippers was a step forward, freight rail reforms cannot stop there. In order to help create jobs and increase exports, the STB must protect the rights of shippers by increasing access to rail competition and improving the rate regulatory process,' said Glenn English, chairman of Consumers United for Rail Equity, a coalition of railroad shippers.

   Coalition organizations include the National Industrial Transportation League, Edison Electric Institute, and National Association of Wheat growers.

   In a filing with the STB, the 40 organizations said they “do not accept ' continued protection of the customer base of the individuals railroads from competition from another railroad,” which they say is reflected in STB decisions having to do with bottlenecks, and rules having to do with reciprocal shipping and terminal facilities.

   “This protection is a feature of the old discredited regulatory regime that existing before 1980 and has no place in the ‘presumed regulation’ regime that was launched in 1980,” they add.

   The comments follow a two-day hearing in June in which the STB heard testimony on the current state of rail competition.