TFI Joins Rail Coalition in Submitting Comments to STB on Competitive Switching


October 27, 2016

WASHINGTON, Oct 27, 2016 – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), along with a broad coalition of organizations supporting rail reform, submitted joint comments to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in support of their proposal that allows for competitive switching along rail lines, opening up fair competition and lowering rates for shippers.

“The fertilizer industry applauds efforts to modernize oversight of the railroad marketplace, which hasn’t happened in more than 20 years. The STB’s proposal on reciprocal switching—also known as competitive switching—is welcome news,” said Chris Jahn, TFI President. “The rail service challenges of 2013 and 2014 highlight the need for more competitive opportunities in the rail marketplace. While opponents of these efforts focus on rates and how this might impact their bottom lines, competition is one of the fairest and most efficient ways to promote improved service. The STB’s efforts are going to help farmers and manufacturers be more competitive in the global marketplace, and this is good news for everyone in our nation.”

STB’s proposed rule would allow captive shippers, companies whose shipping facilities are served by a single large railroad, to gain access to the services of a nearby second railroad if another rail line is reasonably accessible. Historically, captive shippers have paid substantially higher rates and received less reliable service than shippers with more than one rail option.

Along with TFI, the following organizations filed joint comments supporting the proposed rule and recommending improvements to it that would streamline the competitive relief process: Agricultural Retailers Association, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, American Chemistry Council, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, American Petroleum Institute, the Chlorine Institute, Glass Packaging Institute, National Association of Chemical Distributors, and the National Industrial Transportation League.


The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is the leading voice of the nation’s fertilizer industry. TFI’s membership includes fertilizer producers, wholesalers, retailers and trading firms. TFI 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.