ARA President & CEO Jack Eberspacher recently spoke during the National Summit on Agricultural and Food Truck Transport for the Future in Washington, D.C. The following information is condensed from his comments and additional facts brought forth by ARA Members.

BNSF Railroad dramatically increased its demurrage and private car storage policy for Toxic Inhalation Hazard (TIH) shipments on May 1. This is in response to proposed security regulations issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) regarding the rail transportation of TIH commodities, such as anhydrous ammonia. Railcars containing TIH commodities that are constructively placed on BNSF tracks will be subject to a $500/car charge for the first 24 hours or portion thereof, and a $1,000/car for each day thereafter until space is made available. These charges will be assessed against the receiver of the product, and at this point apply only to BN (Class 1) trackage and do not include residue cars.

According to information received from ARA members, CSX railroad will increase all direct and joint lines rates on Anhydrous Ammonia, effective July 1, 2007. Increases will range from 25 percent to 35 percent. The above increase will be in addition to the general 11.5 percent increase on all their fertilizer rates that took effect on April 23, 2007 when they converted their fuel surcharge from a percentage basis to a mileage basis. Other U.S. Class 1 rail carriers are likely to implement similar measures to comply with the proposed security regulations, which include but are not limited to:

  • Receivers will be required to accept TIH cars upon arrival;
  • A person will need to be physically present whenever TIH cars are spotted or pulled from customer facilities; and
  • Outbound TIH cars will not be held in rail yards or other rail facilities awaiting billing, and shippers will be required to provide billing before TIH cars will be pulled.

ARA members are encouraged to notify ARA staff if they receive similar notices from the railroads regarding fee increases or additional rail security requirements being imposed at your facilities.