The STB Continues to Require the Four Largest Class I Railroads to Submit Service Reports

In an effort to continue to improve rail service, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) is requiring the four largest Class I railroads – Union Pacific, CSX, Norfolk Southern and BNSF – to continue submitting biweekly reports on their efforts to restore service.

The extension for this requirement is for another six months.

New Service Targets

Currently the railroads are required to outline their short-term recovery goals that are tied to key service performance indicators. Back on October 28th, the STB announced an order for weekly performance and monthly employment data continue to be submitted to the STB.

Additionally, those four Class I railroads must submit biweekly service progress reports throughout the next six months, as well as an interim update – which is due December 2nd, detailing performance and labor targets and any service recovery plan modifications, Railway Age reports.

“The most recent data shows that the four carriers [Big 4] are currently meeting some of their six-month targets for service improvement, and many key performance indicators are trending in a positive direction,” the STB stated on October 28th.

They continued to mention that key performance indicators such as, velocity, terminal dwell, first-mile/last-mile service, and trip plan compliance show that railroad operations generally remain challenged. An additional reason for continued monitoring is that freight rail service is crucial with shippers entering the fall harvest and holiday shipping season.

As such, continued monitoring is needed.

The STB will not require the Big 4 to continue to participate in the individual biweekly conference calls with the Board’s office of public assistance, governmental affairs and compliance.

Of course, not all of the Class I carriers are experiencing the same service problems in the same degree. The STB notes that having these service reports from the Class I carriers allows the Board to assess the current service issues throughout the entire rail network.

Looking Ahead

Some progress has been made by the railroads, as all of the Big 4 meeting or exceeding some initial service targets in previous weeks. But overall, levels continue to trend below pre-pandemic averages.

You can read more in depth the STB’s order, here.

Should you have any questions regarding this and how it could impact your shipments, please reach out to our team today. Additionally, we have our weekly market updates that can provide you with relevant freight news, updates, developments across the industry, and more.


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