Increasing Railway Efficiency, Reducing Impact
The shortage of transportation capacity affects the forest products industry. In addition to the
difficulty of moving raw materials to mills, moving products to customers is increasingly difficult
Rail customers are not receiving reliable rail service at reasonable rates. Nearly one-third of forest
products facilities have access to only one rail carrier. The railroad industry has an obligation to
serve its customers and the nation’s freight rail needs, but many see their monopoly status as an
opportunity to charge excessive rates while providing poor service.
AF&PA supports legislation to reform the Surface Transportation Board (STB), which regulates
the nation’s railroads, but which is ineffective in addressing rail service problems. AF&PA also
supports legislation removing current special railroad exemptions from the nation’s antitrust laws.
• AF&PA supports removing railroads’ exemption from antitrust laws. The current special
antitrust exemption allows freight railroads to avoid competition and keep their rates artificially
and unfairly high. These unjustifiably high rates are a hidden tax on consumers, inflating
prices on everyday items such as food, electricity, paper, and manufactured goods.
• AF&PA supports reforming the STB, which is failing in its mission to ensure competition and
protect rail customers from railroad monopoly power. Impediments to competition adversely
affecting rail customers need to be removed.
• AF&PA acknowledges the need for investment in rail infrastructure. However, any tax credit
granted to the railroads through Congressional action needs to address domestic captive
The Time for Change Is Now
AF&PA requests support for rail competition and service improvement legislation, as well as
railroad antitrust enforcement bills. Shippers who rely on railroads need relief from decreasing
quality of service, increasing costs and an ineffective railroad regulatory body.
Improving Railway Efficiency