government affairs

Rail Issue Page

Rail In the Chemical Distribution Industry


Rail service is critically important for chemical distributors. Many NACD member companies are serviced only by a single railroad, subjecting them to higher freight rates, capacity constraints, and service issues. NACD endorses efforts to promote greater freight rail competition and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Surface Transportation Board (STB), which would provide proper recourse for rail customers and improve the reliability and quality of service.

For more information on specific rail policies, please explore the topics below and browse NACD’s resource database. For the latest actions in these areas, follow us on Twitter and visit our Newsroom.

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Rail Safety in the Chemical Industry

rail safety

The chemical industry is one of the largest customers of freight rail in both volume and revenue, and chemical distributors depend on freight rail to deliver the raw materials we need to process, formulate, and distribute products that are essential to Americans’ everyday health and safety. Members of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) place the highest priority on the health, safety, and security of our employees, communities, and the environment and demonstrate that commitment through adherence to NACD Responsible Distribution®, the underpinning of our industry’s responsible management and handling of chemicals.

Learn more about Rail Safety in the Chemical Industry.

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STB Proceedings


The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has taken several measures to address rail service issues, including adopting a rule to require more clarity on demurrage invoices; launching an inquiry on first mile/last mile rail service; and reopening a rulemaking on reciprocal switching. In 2022, the STB continued its oversight, holding a two-day hearing on general freight rail service concerns and a later hearing on one Class I railroad’s increased use of embargoes. The STB also issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to update the emergency service rules to provide relief for shippers in situations that require immediate action. NACD supports the STB taking continued action that would improve service and competitiveness in the freight rail industry, including the allowance of reciprocal switching. NACD also supports Congress giving the STB additional authorities to ensure chemical distributors and other shippers receive adequate rail service.

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For further questions about NACD’s Rail Issue Page, please contact Nicholas Breslin, Manager of Regulatory Affairs at