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Home » News & Communications » Latest News » STB Issues Notice of Public Hearing Regarding Union Pacific Embargoes

STB Issues Notice of Public Hearing Regarding Union Pacific Embargoes

11/22/2022 (Tuesday) [PDF Version]
No. 22-49

Michael Booth
FedRelay 1 (800) 877-8339

The Surface Transportation Board today announced that it will hold an in-person public hearing on December 13 and 14, 2022, with Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) pertaining to the substantial increase in its use of embargoes as a method of reducing rail traffic congestion.  UP’s use of embargoes to control congestion has increased from a total of 5 in 2017 to more than 1,000 to date in 2022.  The Board has received numerous reports that shippers are suffering supply chain problems as a result of the embargoes that are hampering their operations.

The Board notes that UP carries nearly 27 percent of freight served by rail and nearly 11 percent of all long-distance freight volume.  Therefore, disruptions in UP’s service levels have a significant detrimental impact on the supply chain and the nation’s economy.  The Board has been closely monitoring UP’s usage of embargoes and has noticed a disturbing upward trend in their usage in recent years.

For these reasons, the Board is directing UP CEO Lance Fritz and other top executive-level officials of UP to appear at the hearing and expects to hear testimony on topics including, but not limited to, the railroad’s decision-making process in determining whether to issue an embargo, data inputs, its consideration of shippers’ operational needs, and explanations for the dramatic increase in embargoes since 2017.  The Board also invites testimony from shippers and other stakeholders who can contribute to the Board’s understanding of the cause and/or impact of the embargoes.

The public hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET on December 13 and 14, 2022, in the Hearing Room of the Board’s headquarters, located at 395 E Street, S.W. Washington, D.C.  20423.

Today’s notice in Oversight Hearing Pertaining to Union Pacific Railroad Company’s Embargoes, Docket No. EP 772, may be viewed and downloaded here.