WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — A U.S. congressional bill aimed at strengthening the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) ability to address concerns about worsening rail service has gained support from the American Bakers Association (ABA). In a Sept. 10 statement, the ABA said it was “highly concerned about the ongoing crisis in the northern wheat states” created by the severe lag in rail shipments of grains, including wheat.

Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the ABA, said some bakers have been forced to curtail production because of “massive shipping inefficiencies.”

“The entire grain chain is bearing the brunt of this problem,” said Cory Martin, director of government relations at the ABA.

Martin emphasized the importance of ensuring adequate flour supplies for bakers, especially during the approaching winter months.

“While there is much more that needs to be done, giving the STB more authority to hold the railroads accountable is an important first step,” he said.