Shippers aren’t just up against delayed rail, they’re catching up after the harsh winter interrupted movement of commodities as a whole.
Nixa, MO (PRWEB) March 25, 2014
Several news sources have reported in recent weeks that BNSF railway operations in North Dakota are at least three weeks delayed (http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/bnsf-pledges-caught-ag-shipments-22885754). While BNSF President and CEO, Carol Ice, has said the delays are not a result of increased crude-by-rail shipments, other sources are skeptical and report agricultural shipments are suffering the most (http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/03/18/5659053/bnsf-ceo-says-railroad-will-hire.html). At the same time, BulkLoads.com, a leading online load board for bulk freight has seen a 30% increase in load postings from one month ago, and nearly 3 times the postings from a year ago.
“There are a lot of issues going on in the rail industry indirectly affecting truck freight, including the delays from BNSF out of North Dakota,” said BulkLoads.com Jared Flinn. “Many shippers who usually use rail are having to switch to truck freight to get their products moved across the northern US and Canada. It’s good news for truckers, though putting a strain on shippers. Some trucking companies we’ve spoken with are making $4.50 a loaded mile, that’s almost twice the typical rate this time of year.”
Backed-up rail freight due to added oil shipments isn’t the only culprit maximizing rail, causing a higher demand for trucks. A harsh winter and increased need for road salt have also taken up rail space, leaving less for agriculture products. The winter storms that blew across much of North America also forced trucking companies to shut down equipment while the storms passed, causing less truck availability. “Shippers aren’t just up against delayed rail, they’re catching up after the harsh winter interrupted movement of commodities as a whole,” Flinn stated. “We’re seeing a lot of eagerness and activity on our load boards and forums now that the weather is more favorable.”
BulkLoads.com is a fast-growing community of shippers, carriers and brokers operating in the bulk freight sector. Over 8000 members currently connect daily to more effectively and efficiently move North America’s agriculture products. For more information, visit http://www.bulkloads.com.