Points To Ponder
These "Points To Ponder" should make you wonder if there are factors
beyond free and open competition that put rail at a disadvantage. One
should select the best and least expensive method to ship their goods.
However, certain observations indicate there may be factors beyond
fair competiton involved when rail is not chosen in many circumstances.
- How could hauling freight using 60 trucks with 60 separate
engines each burning fuel driven by at least 60 different drivers (and
sometimes more when the trucks move around the clock by different
drivers in shifts) ever be less expensive than using one freight train
with 60 cars, very few engines, and very few engineers for the same
trip? This is true in many cases. My own suspicion is that the shipper
has to pay the full true expense of shipping by rail, but there are
hidden subsidies that keep the cost of shipping by truck far below the
true cost. The railways have to maintain and operate the tracks and that
cost is a factor in what the railways charge their clients. Trucking
companies do not maintain or operate the roadways. That is done by the
government. The trucking companies pay fuel and other taxes and fees.
However, if these fees were even close to the cost of maintaining and
operating the roads and the trucking companies had to pass those fees
onto their customers, I think the cost of shipping by rail would win
hands down over the cost of shipping by truck.
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