Today, Corn Refiners Association (CRA) President & CEO John Bode appeared before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to give testimony on behalf of CRA. The hearing, held due to concerns expressed by users of the freight rail network and other stakeholders about the changes to demurrage and accessorial tariffs being implemented by various Class I railroads, took place in the Main Hearing Room of the U.S. International Trade Commission.
In his testimony, Mr. Bode presented the concerns of the shipper community with recent reductions in free-time before demurrage and storage charges begin to accrue and with the overall lack of reciprocity and commercial fairness in rail practices.
“CRA members do not object to demurrage and storage charges to incentivize the efficient use of railroad assets. However, recent across-the-board free-time reductions to as few as zero days on private cars have stretched the credibility of railroad efficiency justifications,” said John Bode, CRA President & CEO. “The rail industry’s recent actions have treated efficiency as a one-way street where any charge that enhances rail efficiency, no matter how small the enhancement, is justified without regard to the negative impacts upon rail customers, no matter how great those impacts. Railroads have not been willing to accept responsibility for the efficiency effects of their own behavior upon their customers.”
CRA members are highly dependent upon reliable and economic rail transportation for their products, both for inbound shipments of raw materials and outbound shipments of finished products. Rail service issues have disrupted the business of CRA members, resulting in additional costs, threatening members’ production, and jeopardizing their customer relationships.
CRA is the national trade association representing the corn refining industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. CRA is comprised of five member companies, including Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill, Ingredion Incorporated, Roquette America, Inc. and Tate & Lyle Americas.