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Farm exporters: BNSF, Union Pacific must back US west coast ports

BETTER and cheaper rail service will help US west coast ports and agricultural exporters reverse lost market share and increase competitiveness, says Peter Friedmann, executive director of the Washington, DC, Agriculture Transportation Coalition

Farm exporters: BNSF, Union Pacific must back US west coast ports

BETTER and cheaper rail service will help US west coast ports and agricultural exporters reverse lost market share and increase competitiveness, says Peter Friedmann, executive director of the Washington, DC, Agriculture Transportation Coalition

29 January 2020 - 19:00

BETTER and cheaper rail service will help US west coast ports and agricultural exporters reverse lost market share and increase competitiveness, says Peter Friedmann, executive director of the Washington, DC, Agriculture Transportation Coalition.

'The two Class 1 railroads, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) and The Union Pacific (UP), are facing growing challenges due to competition from Canada, and the shift of some import cargoes away from the US west coast and to east and Gulf Coast ports,' said Mr Friedmann, reported the American Journal of Transportation.



'Our members tell us that imports going through the Canadian Port of Prince Rupert and delivered by the Canadian National Railway (CN) to Chicago are arriving at a lower rate and faster timeline than is available from the UP and the BNSF.



'As a result, the shift in production to Southeast Asia and away from China causes more import containers to be delivered to Gulf and east coast ports. The BNSF and the UP are our partners but they need to recognise that the shift in US imports through Canada, Gulf and east coast ports adversely impacts them and us?Hopefully, we will see lower freight rates.



'Changes in the flow of imports from Asia plus increased competition from the Port of Prince Rupert in Western Canada via the Canadian National Railway means that the loaded import containers that used to arrive from US west coast ports and returned to those ports with agricultural export cargoes are now less available,' Mr Friedman said.


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