BNSF said Thursday it will end an embargo on certain westbound shipments on Sept. 4, noting that it successfully reduced congestion by limiting cargo within its network.
The railroad began limiting traffic of food, diesel and other commodities in late June to offset congestion in its network. BNSF announced late last month it would extend the embargo into August, with a plan to loosen restrictions by gradually expanding a permit system allowing shippers to seek exemptions.
“The temporary permit embargo enabled BNSF to significantly reduce backlogs and drive greater efficiencies for trains moving both towards and in California, and throughout our network,” BNSF said a statement Thursday. The railroad noted it will still work with individual customers as necessary to manage traffic flows.
Limitations helped increase velocity and reduce congestion, BNSF said in its statement. Velocity rose 3% since March, while dwell time dropped 4%, according to an Aug. 12 filing to the Surface Transportation Board.
Still, the carrier has seen some issues within its network, particularly within intermodal — which was not subject to the embargo.
In a separate customer notification Aug. 11, the railroad said shippers could see delays of up to 24 hours from Sept. 5 through Sept. 7 “due to lighter volumes of traffic and possible train consolidations,” according to the notification.
The weekly percentage of intermodal trains arriving within 24 hours of their original estimate declined 61.3% to 59.4% between Aug. 5 and Aug. 12, according to data submitted to the STB.