STB Issues Three Actions on Railroad Demurrage

The Surface Transportation Board on October 7 issued three actions to address issues raised at the May 2019 public hearing on railroad demurrage and accessorial charges: (1) a Policy Statement on Demurrage and Accessorial Rules and Charges that provides information on principles the STB will employ when evaluating reasonableness of charges; (2) a proposed rule on Demurrage Billing Requirements; and (3) a decision on Exclusion of Demurrage Regulation from Certain Class Exemptions which clarifies that certain rate exclusions do not extend to the regulation of demurrage.

The second action is of primary interest to ILTA members. In the proposed rule, the STB proposes that Class I railroads include in or with demurrage invoices minimum information to assist shippers and receivers to verify charges and determine who is responsible for delays. The Board also proposed a requirement that Class I railroads send demurrage invoices directly to shippers, if receivers and shippers agree that it is appropriate, and that they notify the railroad of their agreement. ILTA plans to file comments by the November 6 due date. ILTA issued a press release, applauding the proposal.