On March 20, 2019, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) announced that it will hold a public hearing on railroad demurrage and accessorial charges. Railroads, shippers, third-party logistics providers, and other interested parties are invited to speak at the hearing and report their experience with demurrage and accessorial charges, including reciprocal commitments by railroads, commercial fairness of the charges, the relationship of the charges to operational and capacity issues, and effects of the charges on network fluidity.

This hearing follows letters from Chairman Begeman to each Class I railroad on December 17, 2018, requesting that they submit information on quarterly revenue from demurrage and accessorial charges for 2018 and 2019. Prior to those letters, several Class I railroads significantly altered their demurrage and accessorial practices in ways that have had significant adverse operational and monetary consequences for their customers. Many of those customers, in turn, have protested those changes to the STB.

The public hearing will be held on May 22, 2019. Further details including time, location, instructions on how to participate, and opportunities to file written comments will be announced by the STB in the near future.