Iowa Temporarily Increases Truck Weight Limits on Grain Transportation
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed a proclamation to increase truck weight limits for grain transportation. Addressing concerns about heavy agricultural traffic throughout the State, the higher limits are intended to ensure efficient and effective collection of the grain harvest.
Effective immediately and continuing through October 17 or earlier as determined by the Governor, the proclamation allows vehicles transporting corn, soybeans, hay, straw, silage and stover to be overweight without a permit. However, vehicles cannot exceed 90,000 pounds gross weight. The proclamation further applies to loads transported on all Iowa highways, excluding the interstate system.
These covered vehicles cannot exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds by more than 12.5 percent, and must comply with posted limits on roads and bridges.
STB Extends Deadline for Comments on First-Mile/Last-Mile Service Issues
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) extended the deadline for comments on first-mile/last-mile (FMLM) service. Comments from interested parties are now due by December 17, 2021, and reply comments from interested parties are due by February 17, 2022.
Grain News on AgFax
FMLM service refers to the movement of railcars between a local railroad serving yard and a shipper or receiver facility. STB seeks comment on the following: possible FMLM service issues, design of potential metrics to measure FMLM service, and possible burdens associated with implementing any suggested changes.
FMCSA Requests Input on National Consumer Complaint Database
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently requested comments on its National Consumer Complaint Database (NCCDB), a repository of complaint information that can be later used for taking enforcement action. Comments on NCCDB will help FMCSA secure reauthorization by the Office of Management and Budget for the database’s continued use.
NCCDB, an online interface, allows consumers, drivers, and others to file complaints against unsafe and unscrupulous companies (including shippers) and/or their employees. Complaints cover a wide range of areas, including electronic logging devices and financial responsibility instruments for brokers and freight forwarders.
Complaints relate to safety issues of driver harassment and coercion, as well as financial integrity concerns and issues. Comments can be submitted by November 2.
Snapshots by Sector
For the week ending September 16, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans for marketing year 2021/22 totaled 50.7 million metric tons (mmt), down 12 percent from same time last year.
Net corn export sales were 0.373 mmt, up 51 percent from last week. Net soybean export sales were 0.903 mmt, down 29 percent from last week. Net weekly wheat export sales were 0.356 mmt, down 42 percent from last week.
U.S. Class I railroads originated 19,432 grain carloads during the week ending September 18. This was a 16-percent increase from the previous week, 12 percent less than last year, and 7 percent lower than the 3-year average.
Average October shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers (per car) were $808 above tariff for the week ending September 23. This was $147 less than last week and $721 lower than this week last year. There were no non-shuttle bids/offers this week.
For the week ending September 25, barged grain movements totaled 187,590 tons. This was 11 percent higher than the previous week and 63 percent lower than the same period last year.
For the week ending September 25, 112 grain barges moved down river—2 barges fewer than the previous week. There were 391 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans Region, 53 percent higher than last week.
For the week ending September 23, 19 oceangoing grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf—21 percent fewer than the same period last year. Within the next 10 days (starting September 24), 53 vessels were expected to be loaded—13 percent fewer than the same period last year.
As of September 23, the rate for shipping a metric ton (mt) of grain from the U.S. Gulf to Japan was $82.50. This was 1 percent more than the previous week. The rate from the Pacific Northwest to Japan was $45.50 per mt, 1 percent more than the previous week.
For the week ending September 27, the U.S. average diesel fuel price increased by 2.1 cents from the previous week to $3.406 per gallon, $1.012 above the same week last year. At $4.339 per gallon, California diesel prices are the highest since March 2013.