TFI Urges STB to Prioritize Market Fairness and Reciprocity


May 22, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) thanks the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for holding its oversight hearing to review excessive demurrage and accessorial charges levied against shippers.

“TFI deeply appreciates the Board’s interest and oversight of railroad demurrage and accessorial charges,” said TFI President and CEO Chris Jahn. “The Board is right to look at these ever-increasing charges, which are often unfair and unreasonable. TFI will continue engaging with the Board and railroads to improve fairness, service and system fluidity.”

TFI Director of Government Affairs Justin Louchheim testified on behalf of the fertilizer industry, adding that, “beyond demurrage and accessorial charges and their market, today’s hearing is about implementation of precision scheduled railroading (PSR) and the direction of the rail industry. PSR represents an obsession with operating ratio at the expense of customer service and reflects a lack of competition in the rail industry. These issues do not happen in other shipping modes.”

TFI shared a number of suggestions with the Board, including policy guidance that prioritizes market fairness and reciprocity, allows shippers adequate time to adjust to rail carrier changes, and reciprocal charges for when railroads disrupt shipper operations.

Click here to read TFI’s testimony as prepared for the record.  


The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is the leading voice of the nation’s fertilizer industry. Tracing its roots back to 1883, TFI’s membership includes fertilizer producers, wholesalers, retailers and trading firms. TFI’s full-time staff, based in Washington, D.C., serves its members through legislative, educational, technical, economic information and public communication programs. Find more information about TFI online at and follow us on Twitter at @Fertilizer_Inst. Learn more about TFI’s nutrient stewardship initiatives at and on Twitter at @4rnutrients.