April 27, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) joined 32 other organizations in giving testimony before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) on critical supply chain disruptions caused by freight rail service. Sharing challenges corn milling facilities have faced, including temporary shutdowns and product delays, CRA called for the STB to obtain service improvement plans from each railroad and require weekly updates to ensure progress is made, in addition to devising new strategies to increase competition and combat unfair business practices in the rail industry.
“Rail service issues have deteriorated to such a degree that our industry is struggling to play its essential role in the food and agriculture system,” said John Bode, President and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association. “We appreciate Agriculture Secretary Vilsack highlighting to the Surface Transportation Board the serious failures of rail service and the STB’s Commissioners’ recognition of the problem. We respectfully urge aggressive steps by the STB to move rail service to a sustainable long-term footing.”
Testimony from CRA focused on the numerous issues corn refining facilities have experienced due to rail service disruptions, including incurring additional costs through supplemental transportation logistics. One corn wet mill operator lost at least $5 million in revenue to rail service issues in the first quarter of this year alone.
More information on the Service Transportation Board’s public hearing on Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Service (Docket No. EP 770) can be found here.
The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein and fiber.