Since the consolidation of the rail industry over the past 30 years, and particularly in the 1990’s, competition has come at a substantial cost to shippers even as railroads became more efficient and their financial condition vastly improved.
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has opened a proceeding to review competition in the railroad industry (Ex Parte 705). TFI joined a group of Interested Parties in joint comments to the STB and submitted a set of its own comments. A hearing will be held at the STB on June 22.
The fact that railroads have increased rates at a pace several times greater than their costs, while also increasing their volumes, strongly suggests the exercise of substantial market power, and this fact is a key point of TFI’s efforts to communicate on this issue.
The commodities TFI members produce are essential to the United States’ agricultural producers. Greater rail competition will enable TFI members to get their products into the marketplace more efficiently.
TFI supports the Surface Transportation Board’s proceeding to further examine competition in the railroad industry.