U.S.: Volume spike triggers surcharges, gate restrictions from Western US railroads

By Ari Ashe, Senior Editor, JOC.com; July 29, 2020

Pressure is building on the networks of Western US freight railroads, as reflected by Union Pacific Railroad (UP) assessing a $500 surcharge on certain shipments and BNSF Railway imposing gate restrictions at a Los Angeles terminal due to a surge of volume driven by e-commerce retailers.

Beginning Aug. 9, UP will assess a $500 surcharge on excess cargo, according to a notice obtained by JOC.com. BNSF Railway, in a July 27 customer advisory, announced gate restrictions on its Los Angeles Hobart facility due to “a sharp rise in volume, primarily driven by e-commerce business.” UP also cited e-commerce volume as a catalyst in last week’s earnings call, which is widely believed to be primarily UPS Ground shipments.

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