BNSF’s temporary shipping embargo of food, diesel and other commodities shipments will continue into August, the railroad announced Wednesday.
The embargo of many westbound shipments to California was announced last month in a bid to lower congestion that has caused delays for the railroad and shippers, ports and other stakeholders.
But BNSF plans to incrementally loosen the embargo due to recent gains in velocity across its southern region.
“As we enter the next phase of our service recovery, we must proactively work together to improve the congestion in California by continuing the embargo in August,” BNSF said. “BNSF will continue to carefully review and consider customer circumstances and will increase the number of permits issued weekly as network conditions improve.”
The western railroad will issue 30% more permits for the next seven-day period beginning Thursday, after train velocity reached a 90-day high over the most recent seven days, the railroad said in a release.
“We will maintain our focus in the weekly permit review process on the number of shipments already in the pipeline headed to California customer destinations and work to mitigate overfilled pipelines while allowing railcars to flow where shortages might exist,” BNSF said.
The shipping embargo comes after shippers and other stakeholders have pressed regulators to step in to address lengthy rail delays.
BNSF said customers may refer to the railroad’s website to submit permit requests, view the list of commodities exempted and find further information about the limited embargo, which applies to non-intermodal shipments.
The railroad is also continuing to reevaluate its network conditions, and as it sees further progress on reducing congestion, “we anticipate that we will be able to stop the current permit embargo structure and continue working collaboratively with individual customers as necessary to manage traffic flows,” BNSF said.