(NAFB)--The National Farmers Union - along with more than 35 other organizations - sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation last week urging action to strengthen competition in the U.S. rail transportation market.
NFU President Roger Johnson says family farmers, ranchers and rural communities need access to fair rates for rail shipments. The top four shippers control 90-percent of freight rail service - and 78-percent of the 28-thousand places where cargo is picked up have access to only one rail carrier. Also - rail rates have increased 2.5-times more than both trucking rates and inflation. The organizations says lack of competition in the freight rail industry is hurting American manufacturers and producers - especially since importers pay lower transportation rates for their foreign-made goods inside the U.S. than U.S. producers and manufacturers. The organizations say the U.S. needs a pro-competitive national freight rail transportation system to ensure fair prices and reasonable service for rail dependent shippers.