• DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.743
    -0.027
    -1.5%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.978
    -0.165
    -7.7%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.916
    -0.086
    -8.6%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.446
    -0.049
    -3.3%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.006
    0.021
    2.1%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.069
    0.000
    0%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.100
    0.056
    2.7%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.597
    -0.064
    -3.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.444
    -0.031
    -2.1%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.181
    -0.068
    -5.4%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.553
    0.038
    2.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,385.190
    -18.330
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.800
    -0.320
    -4.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,385.780
    -15.500
    -0.2%
  • TLT.USA
    2.740
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
    -1.3%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.743
    -0.027
    -1.5%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.978
    -0.165
    -7.7%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.916
    -0.086
    -8.6%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.446
    -0.049
    -3.3%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.006
    0.021
    2.1%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.069
    0.000
    0%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.100
    0.056
    2.7%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.597
    -0.064
    -3.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.444
    -0.031
    -2.1%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.181
    -0.068
    -5.4%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.553
    0.038
    2.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,385.190
    -18.330
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.800
    -0.320
    -4.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,385.780
    -15.500
    -0.2%
  • TLT.USA
    2.740
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
    -1.3%
American Shipper

U.S. railroads, STB oppose “captive shipper” legislation

U.S. railroads, STB oppose “captive shipper” legislation

U.S. railroads, STB oppose “captive shipper” legislation

   The U.S. railroads and Surface Transportation Board told House lawmakers Wednesday that they oppose recently introduced bills that would alter the principals of the 1980 Staggers Rail Act when it comes to dealing with so-called “captive shippers.”

   “The legislation re-injects government control over wide areas of freight rail operations,” warned Edward R. Hamberger, president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Railroads, in testimony before a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee railroad subcommittee. “It is based on misunderstandings or misrepresentations regarding the extent of the competition railroads face.

   “And most importantly, it dooms freight railroads to a state of perpetual capital starvation,” he added. “By preventing from earning enough to sustain their systems, this bill would inexorably lead to deteriorating rail infrastructure, declining rail service, fewer rail jobs, and eventually the loss of rail service completely on an increasing number of rail lines. Such an outcome is not what our nation needs or deserves.”

   In specific, Hamberger referred to H.R. 2924 and its companion bill in the Senate (S. 919), called the 2003 Railroad Competition Act. There is also another House bill, the Surface Transportation Board Reform Act (H.R. 2192), that also addresses the captive shipper issue.

   Surface Transportation Board chairman Roger Noble, referred to the legislation in his testimony Wednesday as “unwise,” and believes that these problems should be addressed through improvements in the agency’s policies toward captive shippers.

   Captive shippers are often large commodity movers that rely exclusively on rail service. However their operations are in parts served by a single railroad. These shippers allege that the railroads force them to pay higher than normal rates on tracks served by single railroads to make up for financial losses they experience from low shipper rates on the multi-railroad served routes.

   Shipper groups, such as the National Industrial Transportation League, Consumers United For Rail Equity, Alliance for Rail Competition and North Dakota Grain Dealers, endorse the legislation. These groups say they’re tired of waiting for commercial changes to how the railroads treat captive shippers.

   “Both (House) bills require carriers to quote reasonable rates to or from the point of access to existing rail competition,” said Terry Huval, director of Lafayette Utilities System, in his testimony.

   “We have one simple request of Congress: require the railroads to provide rates to their customers to interchanges where the customer can gain access to existing rail competition,' Huval said. 'This leaves the railroad with monopoly power to or from the point of interchange, but prevents the railroad from extending that monopoly power to the entire length of our movement. This seems fair to the railroads and to the captive rail customer.”

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