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February 4, 2020

ISRI replies to Surface Transportation Board

In December 2019, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, filed reply comments in the rail demurrage proceedings at the Surface Transportation Board (STB). These comments are a result of hearings to investigate the rail industry’s practice of reducing free time for loading and unloading and subsequent demurrage fees. They follow ISRI’s initial comments filed in November.

ISRI states, “The railroad parties paint an inaccurate picture of the law and favor a demurrage regime that would allow railroads to over-recover penal demurrage charges from their customers.”

ISRI continues, “Moreover, the board has broad discretion to interpret the ‘reasonableness’ standard which applies to demurrage 14 and retains the authority to develop enforcement principles and guidance that account for present-day circumstances in the rail industry.”

ISRI says rail industry consolidation has reduced competitive forces. “Thus, the commission’s contention that increased competition would deem these rules unnecessary does not prove to be accurate in the modern rail industry.”