Ag shippers raise the grade for railroads


The 47 million tons of soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil that crisscross the United States each year must make it to their delivery points on time – or within reason. A recent soybean-checkoff-funded survey shows most major railroad companies do a pretty good job getting them there.

The U.S. agricultural shippers questioned for the annual Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) survey gave Union Pacific (UP) the highest rating in everything from on-time performance to customer service. Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railway came in second, and Canadian National (CN) railway came in third with the most dramatic overall improvement from last year. Overall satisfaction rated 10 percent higher than last year, according to the survey responses.

“I am pleased to see the companies that ship our soybeans think the railroads are doing a better job than last year,” said Roy Bardole, USB Global Opportunities Committee vice chair, USB representative to the STC and a soybean farmer from Rippey, Iowa. “Transportation infrastructure is a top priority for USB and efficiency and service are critical when it comes to transporting U.S. soybeans to our customers via rail.”

The seven railroads classified as Class I include the following: the UP, BNSF, CN, the Canadian Pacific railway, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern railway and the Norfolk Southern railway.

The full results of the survey, including a copy of the questionnaire, can be accessed at

Source: United Soybean Board