ACC Urges Congress to Address Rail Supply Chain Challenges
WASHINGTON (May 11, 2023) — In testimony to Congress, the American Chemistry Council’s President and CEO, Chris Jahn, stressed the importance of a resilient supply chain and shared recommendations on how to get freight rail back on track.
“Quite simply – if we want to make more things in America rather than in places like China, we must manufacture and move more chemicals in America,” Jahn said. “For that to happen we must fix our nation’s transportation supply chain and make it stronger than ever.”
Big Challenges Remain
Jahn noted that railroads have made some progress and recovered from some of the pandemic related issues as demand has eased. However, he explained that many rail service problems continue to negatively impact ACC members.
In fact, ACC’s latest supply chain survey of member companies found that freight transportation challenges are far from over.
More than 80% of companies report that despite recent improvements, conditions remain worse than they were prior to the pandemic. The survey found that 30% of companies said rail service problems were worse in the second half of last year, and more than three quarters reported worse service than before the pandemic.
Jahn concluded by asking Congress to ensure that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) is equipped to address freight rail issues and complete proceedings in a timely manner, including the Board’s proceeding on reciprocal switching.
He also asked Congress to act on measures that would hold the railroads accountable for poor service and allow more shippers to have rail issues addressed by the STB.