Rail Rate Mediation and Arbitration for Grain Shippers
This paper proposes mediation and arbitration as alternatives to formal Surface Transportation Board (STB) rail rate challenge procedures. When producers and shippers view the rates they are paying for transportation as excessive or uncompetitive, they need access to fair, cost-effective processes to challenge rail rates. Agricultural shippers believe the STB processes are too lengthy and expensive, with the risk not being worth the reward. A mediation/arbitration system could potentially provide a fairer and lower cost approach to challenging rail rates, such as the system developed by the Montana Grain Growers Association, Montana Farm Bureau Federation, and BNSF Railway Company. This paper highlights the need for a national-level rail rate mediation/arbitration system that is simple and cost-effective in order to provide a fair and impartial forum for all grain producers and shippers.
Read Report (.pdf).