By Randy Gordon, President and CEO
In a statement filed on May 1 with the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) maintained it has committed to arbitrate commercial disputes involving rail demurrage and accessorial charges through NGFA’s Rail Arbitration System and other venues.
In its statement to the STB, UP asserted that it “has agreed to arbitrate contested demurrage and accessorial charges using a number of commodity or mode-specific rules (e.g., the National Grain and Feed Association’s Rail Arbitration Rules, the Association of American Railroads’ Interchange Rules) as well as the Surface Transportation Board’s arbitration program….”
Meanwhile, in a statement filed with the STB on May 8 in advance of the agency’s May 22-23 public hearing on Class I railroads’ demurrage and accessorial charges and practices, the NGFA recognized and commended the BNSF Railway’s tariff language in which it commits to resolving “all disputes, claims, questions or controversies arising out of any charges assessed under the provisions of (BNSF’s Demurrage Book 6004-C, issued Feb. 15, 2019 and effective March 7, 2019) in the transportation of grain or grain products shall be resolved by binding arbitration under the Arbitration Rules of the National Grain and Feed Association unless the parties agree to some other arbitration procedure.”
NGFA member companies are reminded of the benefits available to discuss and potentially resolve various rail-related disputes through NGFA’s Rail Arbitration System, as well as a separate and distinct Rail Mediation Program.