CSX Takes Center Stage at STB Hearing 

OCTOBER 11, 2017

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) held a listening session Wednesday to hear from freight rail provider CSX regarding its recent service problems and from the shipping community affected by those disruptions.

CSX CEO Hunter Harrison was expected to testify along with representatives from the Rail Customer Coalition (RCC), including American Chemistry Council President/CEO Cal Dooley and Cargill Vice President Brad Hildebrand.

ILMA is a member of the RCC, a group of nearly 50 trade associations that addresses issues with the freight rail industry, including decreased competition, rates and fees, outdated rail transportation policies, and service issues, including those with CSX.

STB will hear testimony regarding CSX’s implementation of a plan called “precision railroading,” that has been put in place by two of Canada’s largest railways. The plan includes more precise schedules, shutting down rail yards that sort long trains, and removing older locomotives and other equipment from the fleet.

STB heard from the shipping community about the issue and has engaged CSX, hosting weekly conference calls since July with upper management to ensure that the company was working expeditiously to lessen the problems.

These changes by CSX have hindered timely freight shipments for a large segment of the rail shipping community, including many ILMA members.

CSX claims that it has corrected the issue and that shipments are now moving timely again and the company solicited complimentary letters from customers reflecting the improvement in service.

While some customers have indeed reported that things have improved, many within the rail shipping community are still experiencing issues with both incoming and outgoing shipments.