WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Rob Benedict, AFPM Vice President of Petrochemicals and Midstream, issued the following statement welcoming the U.S. Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) long-awaited reciprocal switching final rulemaking:

“This unanimous decision highlights the Board’s strong recognition that rail service levels are far from acceptable and, in turn, attempts to incentivize better service and promote a customer-focused mindset from the railroads.

"The final rule requires railroads to report service metrics—data that will certainly continue to shine a light on the state of freight rail—and should service failures persist, the rule gives rail shippers an option to seek service on a competing railroad.  

"AFPM commends STB for incorporating such measures aimed at improving service, and modifying and strengthening the original proposed service levels—raising the bar on what is considered acceptable.  

"While the final rule is a step in the right direction, rail shippers should not have to experience prolonged periods of poor service as a condition for reciprocal switching. While reciprocal switching is absolutely needed for captive shippers who have a long record of experiencing the worst of the worst rail service, it should not be limited to just those shippers. Over 70% of rail shippers have no option to take their business elsewhere—proving more can and should be done to make reciprocal switching more widely available. Doing so will restore competition across the freight rail industry and ensure customers receive quality, efficient service.”

Learn more about how reciprocal switching can promote much-needed competition across the industry.

Media Contact:
Rachel Farbman
About AFPM Editorial:

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) is the leading trade association representing the makers of the fuels that keep us moving, the petrochemicals that are the essential building blocks for modern life, and the midstream companies that get our feedstocks and products where they need to go. We make the products that make life better, safer and more sustainable — we make progress.