The Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association (ILMA) is the voice of more than 300 American lubricant manufacturers and suppliers, producing more than a quarter of the nation’s automotive lubricants and three-quarters of its metalworking fluids.

ILMA members make specialized lubricants for everything from backhoes to bone screws. Their products keep planes in the air, cars on the road, and machines in businesses, households and hospitals running efficiently.

Having access to reliable, affordable freight rail transportation is crucial to the success of domestic lubricant manufacturers and suppliers.

What sort of issues are ILMA members experiencing?

In recent years, several of ILMA members have been negatively impacted by unreliable rail service and higher transportation costs. Since most ILMA members are limited to getting service from a single major rail carrier, they have little to no alternative transportation options.

Railroads often claim that any changes to our nation’s outdated freight rail policy will impact their ability to make capital investments, but ILMA members have yet to see improvements as result of investments made by railroads that service our industry.

ILMA members have reached a breaking point where the lack of dependable and affordable rail service is making it harder for independent lubricant manufacturers and suppliers to stay competitive and meet the needs of their customers.

What’s at stake for the American lubricant industry?

Rising automotive sector demand, increases in environmental pressures, and stricter government regulations have resulted in a growing need for high-quality lubricants.

This trend is expected to continue in the near future as well, which will have a positive impact on the overall business of independent lubricant manufacturers and suppliers across America and help boost the U.S. economy.

Unfortunately, outdated freight rail regulations that block greater access to competitive service options are making it more difficult and costly for lubricant suppliers to ship crucial components to manufacturers for production.

Without lubricants and metalworking fluids, American manufacturing would grind to a halt.

What needs to be done?

The ILMA strongly encourages President Trump to appoint members to the Surface Transportation Board who will move forward with the sensible, market-based freight rail policies supported by the Rail Customer Coalition that will boost competition and foster a stronger rail network.

ILMA members look forward to continuing their work with other shippers, and trust that the U.S. Senate will confirm President Trump’s qualified, pro-reform STB nominees in a prompt manner.