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Abstract

An examination of the effects of deregulation and the performance of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) under that deregulation usually includes an analysis of rail rates that have evolved since implementation of the Staggers Act of 1980 (Staggers Act). This paper examines the rail rate structure for agricultural commodities and compares it with rates for other commodities. Changes in agricultural rail rates are evaluated relative to shipment size and distance shipped to understand how they affect agricultural shippers. Railroads transferred costs to agricultural shippers and overrecovered fuel costs with surcharges. Shippers question the reasonableness of rail rates in the light of railroad revenue adequacy data.

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