Excerpt from American Shipper | By Jon Ross | Friday, July 18, 2014
Miller went on to say that the Surface Transportation Board is keeping a close eye on BNSF fertilizer shipments and past-due grain orders. While the railroad is complying with the STB’s request to provide weekly updates about grain shipments, Miller wrote that the railroad “is concerned with some of the implications” of the STB’s decision to focus on past-due orders.
“We believe our mission is to move as much volume as possible given the limits of our network capacity,” he wrote. “We believe we best accomplish this by balancing the capacity allocated to single cars versus shuttles. Intervening in that balance will have the unintended consequence of reducing the amount of grain moved; less than the market needs us to move; or that the railroad is capable of handling.”
He added that the STB’s order might encourage customers to “seek regulatory intervention.” This, he wrote, will pit regions and commodities against one another, which would damage the system and compromise the network. He noted that ethanol shippers have already asked the STB for a ruling on their product.