On May 22, ARA Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Counsel Richard Gupton testified before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) about excessive demurrage and accessorial charges against agricultural retailers and distributors.
ARA recommended that the agency allow for a more reasonable time frame (minimum 48 hours up to 96 hours) to load and unload shipments following shipping schedules created by the agricultural retailer and manufacturer as the current 24-hour time frame is too short.
In addition, ARA recommended STSB require the railroads provide daily progress reports to the shipper and the receive so they know the exact location of the rail cards to increase compliance. Reciprocal demurrage charges should be imposed on the railroads to ensure commercial fairness and accountability.
In the testimony Gupton told the STB that ARA members (ag retailers, distributors, and manufacturers) are continually impacted by poor rail service that includes bunching of rail cars and imposed high demurrage charges.