Back Customer Notifications Home

Customer Notifications inform BNSF customers of the latest news covering BNSF services, tools, prices and facilities.
To: BNSF Intermodal Customers and BNSF Intermodal National Accounts Customers

Distressed and Restricted Shipments

Recently, BNSF has experienced a significant number of intermodal shipments that have been improperly blocked and braced. When an improperly blocked and braced shipment is found--usually because the equipment is leaning or leaking--BNSF will inspect the shipment, arrange for a timely resolution, and contact the shipper with the root cause of the problem.

If the resolution requires BNSF to contract the services of outside vendors to lift the compromised trailer or container from a railcar or adjust/transload the contents, the shipper will be responsible for associated charges for those vendor services.

In these situations, BNSF Load and Ride Solutions (LARS) will continue to notify customers of these distressed shipments in a timely manner, and arrange for an expeditious resolution (load adjustment, transfer, site clean-up or remediation) of the incident to minimize damage and delay. All costs associated with this handling (including the initial costs to lift and inspect the trailer or container) will be billed to the shipper in accordance with the BNSF Intermodal Rules and Policies Guide.

Minimizing damage and delay are important to keeping the network fluid. For any shipment that results in a service interruption due to improperly loaded, blocked or braced product, the shipper will be assessed appropriate ancillary charges as outlined in the BNSF Intermodal Rules and Policies Guide.

After receiving notification of a distressed shipment, some shippers have stated that they prefer to resolve the incident themselves. In order to manage and keep the network fluid, BNSF will handle the resolution in the most effective way. In addition, all work must be performed by BNSF approved contractors who possess the necessary insurance coverage and meet all BNSF safety certification and work rule requirements.

Please be aware that situations may arise where shipments must be immediately remediated by BNSF prior to notification. All costs associated with this handling will be billed to the shipper in accordance with the BNSF Intermodal Rules and Policies Guide. Remember that most incidents can be avoided completely by complying with the rules outlined in our Intermodal Rules and Policies Guide. In addition, our LARS team is available to answer questions and provide assistance.

Restricted Commodities and Equipment
Recently, many of the improperly loaded shipments have been restricted commodities and equipment. These commodities and equipment types require special actions--including specific price authorities, proper loading configurations, and actual STCC and commodity declarations.

Please refer to the BNSF Intermodal Rules and Policies Guide for these special requirements and actions, more information on Restricted Commodities, Shipper’s Responsibilities, and associated charges. The Guide can be found on, under Markets, Intermodal, References, or the link is

For additional loading information, please contact a Load and Ride Solutions (LARS) Representative at

If you have any questions, please send an email to