American Shipper

STB announces competitive switching hearing

   The Surface Transportation Board will hold a hearing Oct. 22 to discuss modifying its standards for mandatory competitive switching as previously proposed by the National Industrial Transportation League.
   Parties that would like to participate in the 9:30 a.m. meeting must file a notice with the STB by Sept. 23.
   The NITL said its new rule for competitive switching, if adopted, would create new guidelines for when captive shippers can switch from their Class I carrier to a second carrier. Since the NITL proposed the change, shippers have spoken in favor of the switch, and carriers have come out against the move.
   “Our members’ request is simple and straightforward: Help us bring a measure of fair competition to the captive rail shipper market without harming the Class I railroads,” NITL Chief Executive Officer Bruce Carlton said in May. “It is clearly in our members’ interest to have a strong and viable rail system capable of meeting their needs without sacrificing the rails’ economic health.” – Jon Ross