How are railway challenges affecting the grain industry?
Service delays and a labor shortage continue across America’s railways. A member of the North Dakota Wheat Commission tells us how it is affecting the grain industry.
“Shippers pay a penalty if they don’t load a train on time but there’s no reciprocal penalty for nonperformance behind schedule. Especially if you’re talking out of position 4-6 weeks. But if you’re a flour miller or feed manufacturer export contract on the West Coast or exporter trying to load a vessel, four weeks is huge. A lot of grain is sold in two-week windows. If you miss that window, there’s a significant penalty or cost.”
Class one railroads will now be required to send regular progress reports on service, operations, and employment to the Surface Transportation Board. It remains to be seen if the new policy will ease congestion and get agricultural goods flowing.