Providing Clean Grain Covered Hoppers

Announcement Number: AG2012-82
Categories: Domestic Corn Feed Grains and Soybeans,Export Corn Feed Grains and Soybeans,Wheat and Food Grains,Flour and Milled Products,Meals and Oils,Wheat and Food Grain Products
Posted Date: October 3, 2012

Please reference amended Tariff UP 6004-C Item 210-A, on preventing contamination of covered Hopper Cars Used for Grain , Grain Products or Oil seed Shipments.

Maintaining a clean fleet of grain and grain product covered hoppers helps to improve productivity and cycle times while reducing expenses for cleaning cars. We continue to have issues with dirty covered hopper cars with respect to spilled grain and grain product residue on the top of cars.
While residue is an issue for all movements of grain and grain products, residue is of particular concern when shipments are exported to Mexico. One of the legal requirements for exporting grain into Mexico is that the top of covered hoppers be free of any spilled grain and grain products or residue. SAGARPA, the Mexican Governmental agency responsible for agricultural imports, has mandated for several years that any excess grain on the top of the cars be removed, bagged and sent back to the U.S. before the car can continue into Mexico. Car cleaning by the UP and Mexican Railroads continues to be very expensive and delays shipments to Mexico which elongates our cycle times.

We are again asking our customers to ensure that they clean cars after loading at origin so that cars are clean when they return empty for loading and that ultimately cars / trains are not delayed at the border. We have begun to identify dirty cars by car number and we will work with the origin loaders to ensure loaded cars are released clean . UP will continue our programs to inspect, clean and repair empty cars prior to placement. As we refine the process over the next 45 days of identifying and reporting dirty cars this will become a requirement.

By maintaining railcar cleanliness we believe that our customers will benefit by eliminating delays, improving cycle times, improving car availability and providing better reliability on the delivery of their products to final destination.

If you have any questions please contact your Union Pacific representative.