Surface Transportation Board Publishes Updated Rail Rate Study

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) on Feb. 24 posted an updated Rail Rate Index Study, showing real (adjusted for inflation) and nominal rail rates (measured as revenue per ton-mile) from 1985 to 2020.

With the addition of 2020 data, the Feb. 24 release updates the version released in December 2021.

From 2019 to 2020, real rail rates fell moderately (about 2 to 3 percentage points) for grain, intermodal, and food and kindred products.

On a percentage basis, rates decreased most for coal and non-grain farm products.

Real rates remained relatively flat for chemicals and lumber and wood products.

The publication follows STB’s release of the 2020 waybill data.

An interactive version of the public waybill, along with visuals based on the data, can also be found on USDA’s AgTransport Open Data Platform.

This article comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's March 10, 2022, Grain Transportation Report.

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