The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) is the voice of the North American glass container industry. GPI promotes glass as an optimal packaging choice, advances environmental and recycling policies, advocates industry standards, and educates packaging professionals.
Having reliable access to affordable freight rail transportation is vital to America’s glass container industry, providing consumers with a safe, high quality, readily-available packaging product.
Why is freight rail reform important to the glass container industry?
Our members rely on freight rail to transport raw materials for production and manufacturing, and then for delivering glass packaging products – including standard consumer items from beverage bottles to pickle jars – to store shelves across the country. Having access to efficient, competitive rail transportation is crucial to America’s glass manufacturers, and ultimately the success of our economy.
Unfortunately, many glass manufacturers are held “captive” to a single railroad carrier serving their geographical area, leaving them with no alternative options to transport their goods to market or manufacturing plants at a more affordable price.
What’s at stake for America’s glass container industry?
The craft of glassmaking has been at the core of American manufacturing since Colonial Jamestown was established in 1608, and today more than 18,000 skilled workers are employed in the industry nationwide.
But antiquated policies within the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) threaten to shatter this $5.5 billion dollar industry, ultimately leaving American workers and households in the dust.
It’s become effectively impossible for shippers to challenge excessively high rates. The process requires spending millions of dollars and waiting several years for a decision − and in the meantime paying for these unreasonable rates while the dispute drags on.
What needs to be done?
We urge the Surface Transportation Board to enact meaningful reforms that will promote a more affordable and dependable freight rail system. Unfortunately, the STB cannot do so until nominees for vacancies on the board are confirmed by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Once that happens, we can get freight rail back on track.
Glass Packaging Institute members look forward to continuing their work with other rail shippers, and trust that the STB will update these outdated freight rail policies to meet the growing needs of the nation.
THE RAIL CUSTOMER COALITION
The coalition is a large collection of trade associations representing a broad cross section of manufacturing, agricultural, and energy industries with operations and employees throughout the United States, including: