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10/21/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF to delay mileage-based fuel surcharge launch for several shippers



Yesterday, BNSF Railway Co. announced its mileage-based fuel surcharge program will take effect Jan. 1, 2006 — as scheduled — for coal and agricultural products shippers. However, the railroad still is determining a surcharge effective date for intermodal, automotive and other carload shippers.

Later this year, BNSF expects to finish developing and testing necessary changes to its information systems to implement the program.

“Customer feedback indicated that while a mileage-based fuel surcharge program is considered more fair and equitable than the current percentage-based program, some customers need more time to make adjustments to their own information systems to accommodate the new program,” said BNSF Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer John Lanigan in a prepared statement. “Currently, the system used by the rail industry to electronically exchange interline billing and settlement information cannot accommodate a mileage-based fuel surcharge.”

For agricultural products shippers, the mileage-based surcharge will be based on rail rather than highway mileage between an origin and destination. Coal unit-train shippers’ surcharge also will be based on rail mileage.


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