Arbitration Overview admin October 27, 2023

NGFA Arbitration

Formally established in 1901, the NGFA’s Arbitration System has operated in some form since the formation of the Association on November 9, 1896. It is believed to be North America’s oldest industry-based arbitration system. 

The Arbitration System provides a fair, cost-effective and timely way to resolve disputes involving grain, feed, barge and barge freight transactions. Its use is compulsory for resolution of disputes between Active members under the NGFA’s Bylaws. The Arbitration System is also available for resolving disputes with and between Allied and Transportation members if the Arbitration Rules are referenced in the underlying contractual agreement or the parties otherwise consent The Arbitration System is kept current through the amendment process at the NGFA’s annual business meeting. 

Rail Arbitration:

The Rail Arbitration Rules, first adopted on Aug. 24, 1998, supplement the Arbitration Rules. The Rail Arbitration Rules are applicable to disputes between railroads and their customers using the NGFA Arbitration System. 

NGFA-member railroads and their customers can use the NGFA Arbitration System to resolve any type of dispute where both agree. All NGFA Active, Allied and Transportation members are covered by, and have access to, NGFA rail arbitration unless they notify the NGFA of their desire to withdraw from the Rail Arbitration System within 30 days of membership approval. Thereafter, an Active, Allied or Transportation member may withdraw from the Rail Arbitration System after providing 90-day’s advance notice to the NGFA Secretary. See the Participants in Rail Arbitration below for a list of any NGFA-member rail carrier(s) or Active member(s) electing to withdraw from the Rail Arbitration System. 

In addition, nearly all Class I railroads and some shortline and regional railroads have agreed to enter confidential mediation on certain rate-related issues upon request by a NGFA Active or Allied member.

Members withdrawing from Rail Arbitration:
Columbia Grain & IngredientsMid-Coast Grain Company
FAMO Feeds Inc. Quad Commodities Marketing Service Inc. 
Farmers Elevator Co. of Biggs & EastonR.J. O’Brien 
Harmony-Preston Agri-Services Inc.Revillo Farmers Elevator
Ingram Barge CompanySee-Mor Grain Inc. 
Keller Grain & FeedSettlemyre Seed Company 
M.D. Thompson & Son Co. White Commercial Corporation
Marquette Transportation Company