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Agricultural Transportation Challenges of the 21 st Century Long-Term Trends in Railroad Service and Capacity for U.S. Agriculture Agricultural Marketing

By Marvin Prater and Keith Klindworth

Abstract

Because rail is the only cost-effective transportation mode available to many agricultural shippers who are not located near markets or waterway transportation, long-term trends in railroad service and capacity are critically important to U.S. agriculture. These long-term trends are important because they will define the size of the rail network to which agricultural shippers will have access, the minimum shipment requirements that rail shippers and receivers will have to meet, the amount of intramodal competition that will exist in the industry, and, ultimately, the levels of rail service and capacity that will be available to agricultural shippers and receivers in the 21 st century. In this paper, the long-term trends in railroad services and capacity for U.S. agriculture are identified and described, particularly in terms of what these trends portend for agricultural shippers absent any change in the economically deregulated environment within which the U.S. rail industry has operated during the past 20 years. Before the trends are discussed, however, introductory material on how the U.S. railroad system has evolved over that time will be presented. After the long-term trends are presented, the paper concludes with a brief discussion of the likely long-term implications to U.S. agriculture of these long-term trends in railroad services and capacity

Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.197.3402
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