The Effects of Deregulation on Rail Rates: A Study on Wheat, Barley, Corn, Oat, and Soybean
Vinje, Daniel Martin, 1959-
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Although the original intent of this study was to do a pre-and post-deregulation assessment of rail rates per ton-mile, the results using post-deregulation data show a significant decrease in rail rates between 1981 and 2000. While accounting for changes in shipment characteristics, savings for wheat, barley, com, oat, and soybean shippers were 63.80%, 69.17%, 49.07%, 67.97%, and 59.36%, respectively. Rate savings over time for an average 1981 shipment were 45%, 55%, 38%, 45%, and 36% for wheat, barley, com, oat, and soybean shippers, respectively. Analysis regarding the effects of deregulation of rail rates on com, soybean, and wheat on a regional basis shows that rail rates not only differ across commodities, but also among regions. In general, it was found that grain producers within regions that had higher levels of intermodal competition had lower rates than their counterparts with lower levels of intermodal competition. Distribution of benefits as a result of market-based pricing has varied among regions, and these variances are increasing over time.