If it’s not one thing, like rail worker strikes, it’s another, such as rail carriers just deciding not to move your rail cars on their tracks. That’s what National Grain and Feed Association President and CEO Mike Seyfert was concerned about in testimony before the Surface Transportation Board on Capitol Hill on Dec. 14.
At issue is something called “embargoes,” where the railroad can require their customers to reduce the numbers of cars they move in the carrier’s system. It seems Union Pacific (UP) railroad is especially fond of them, issuing more than 1,000 embargoes in 2022, compared to 662 in 2021 and 251 in 2020.
“We fear UP’s significant use of embargoes for so-called congestion that is largely the result of UP’s actions may be unfairly placing the cost burden of its rail service recovery on their rail shipper customers,” Seyfert said.
Moving grain is the current issue, and it’s seen by some as an indicator of supply chain issues that will affect moving fertilizer into position for the coming 2023 crop season.Back