Freight (1 - 10 of 33 items)
Freight Rail Pricing: Contracts Provide Shippers and Railroads Flexibility, but High Rates Concern Some Shippers
GAO-17-166: Published: Dec 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2016.
While rail contracts and tariffs are similar, contracts offer the flexibility to customize rates and terms to a specific shipper, according to selected stakeholders GAO interviewed. Both contract and tariff rates are based on market factors, such as competition, according to representatives from the four largest U.S. freight railroads. However, they noted that in developing contract rates, a railr...
West Coast Ports: Better Supply Chain Information Could Improve DOT's Freight Efforts
GAO-17-23: Published: Oct 31, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 2016.
Some infrastructure and operations at major West Coast ports are strained in the face of recent changes in global shipping, but port stakeholders are attempting to address these constraints. For example, as the shipping industry deploys larger vessels capable of delivering more cargo, some port terminals lack big enough cranes, or other infrastructure, needed to handle these vessels. All major Wes...
Train Braking: DOT's Rulemaking on Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brakes Could Benefit from Additional Data and Transparency
GAO-17-122: Published: Oct 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 2016.
DOT based estimates of the business benefits of electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes on limited data, in part, because railroads that have used ECP brakes to date have shared limited data on their use. ECP brakes provide an electronic brake signal instantaneously throughout the train, allowing train cars to brake faster than with conventional air brakes. In supporting the May 2015 rule...
U.S. Border Communities: Ongoing DOT Efforts Could Help Address Impacts of International Freight Rail
GAO-16-274: Published: Jan 28, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 28, 2016.
Factors such as inspections and crew changes affect freight rail movements in the four U.S. border port of entry (POE) communities GAO visited, which can result in blocked highway-rail grade crossings. Federal agencies and others have taken actions to expedite rail in these communities. As part of its mission to safeguard the border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) scans inbound rail cars...
Positive Train Control: Additional Oversight Needed As Most Railroads Do Not Expect to Meet 2015 Implementation Deadline
GAO-15-739: Published: Sep 4, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2015.
Most railroads in GAO’s review (20 of 29) estimate that they will implement positive train control (PTC)—a communications-based system designed to prevent certain types of train accidents—1 to 5 years after the statutory deadline of December 31, 2015 (3 did not have an estimated completion date). Of the remaining 6 railroads, one was excepted from installing PTC based on limited speeds on it...
Motor Carrier Safety: Additional Research Standards and Truck Drivers' Schedule Data Could Allow More Accurate Assessments of the Hours of Service Rule
GAO-15-641: Published: Jul 29, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2015.
GAO found that the January 2014 study issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to examine the efficacy of its hours of service (HOS) rule—a regulation that governs how many hours truck drivers transporting freight can work—followed most generally accepted research standards. However, FMCSA did not completely meet certain research standards such as reporting limitations...
Motor Carrier Safety: Improvements to Data-Driven Oversight Could Better Target High Risk Carriers
GAO-15-433T: Published: Mar 4, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2015.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has taken steps toward better oversight of motor carriers by establishing the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) and chameleon carrier vetting programs; however, FMCSA could improve its oversight to better target high risk carriers. The CSA program oversees carriers' safety performance through roadside inspections and crash investigatio...
Freight Transportation: Developing National Strategy Would Benefit from Added Focus on Community Congestion Impacts
GAO-14-740: Published: Sep 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2014.
Recent trends in freight flows, if they continue as expected, may exacerbate congestion issues in communities, particularly along certain corridors. As of 2012, the latest year for which data were available, national freight rail and truck traffic had approached levels of 2007 prior to the economic recession. Certain trends related to specific commodities have affected rail flows, including increa...
Transportation Security Information Sharing: Results of GAO's Survey of Stakeholder Satisfaction with TSA Products and Mechanisms (GAO-14-488SP, June 2014), an E-supplement to GAO-14-506
GAO-14-488SP: Published: Jun 24, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 2014.
This e-supplement is a companion to our report entitled, Transportation Security Information Sharing: Stakeholder Satisfaction Varies; TSA Could Take Additional Actions to Strengthen Efforts, GAO-14-506. This e-supplement presents the results of GAO's web-based survey of transportation stakeholders from the aviation, freight and passenger rail, highway, public transit (i.e., mass transit), and pip...
Rail Safety: Preliminary Observations on Federal Rail Safety Oversight and Positive Train Control Implementation
GAO-13-679T: Published: Jun 19, 2013. Publicly Released: Jun 19, 2013.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) primarily monitors railroads' compliance with federal safety regulations through routine inspections by individual inspectors at specific sites on railroads' systems. Thirty states also employ railroad safety inspectors, who participate in a partnership program with FRA to conduct supplemental safety oversight activities based on FRA rail safety regulation...