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To: BNSF Intermodal Customers

Redesigned Intermodal Rules and Policies Guide Simplified and Streamlined

Based on your feedback, BNSF has redesigned the Intermodal Rules and Policies Guide (R&PG), effective July 1, 2008, to make doing business with BNSF easier. This redesign represents the first major revision to the R&PG in more than three years, and features a new layout and organization designed to help simplify the shipping process for our intermodal customers.

The R&PG has been improved as noted below:

  • Simplified – Information has been reorganized to help customers find the most important items. Critical or commonly-used items have been moved to the front, while exceptions and less common activities have been moved to the back. Shipper and BNSF roles and responsibilities are clearer.
  • Streamlined – The new version is significantly shorter, as some sections have been deleted and redundancy has been eliminated. The number of shipping events that can result in charges has been reduced by more than a third, and charges have been placed into logical groupings. (See Appendix G for a summary of charges.)
  • More Environmentally Friendly – Unlike prior versions, the sole distribution method for this edition will be the BNSF Web site. In an effort to minimize waste and conserve energy, we will no longer be printing or distributing paper versions of the R&PG.

    The new R&PG also features an updated layout that is more customer-friendly and a shipping activity flow chart to help customers understand the scope of activities covered.

    MN 05-30_New IML RPG - chart.pdf

    This R&PG replaces the previous version. To review the new version of the R&PG, visit and look under Markets, Intermodal, References, then Rules and Policies Guide, or click here.

    If you have questions, please contact your BNSF Intermodal Sales Representative at 888-428-2673.

    Highlights of some key changes to rules and policies are listed below*:

  • Chapters and Items – Table of Contents (pg. 4)
  • Shipping Instructions Changes – Item 9 (pg. 14)
  • Overweight shipment charges – Item 15 (pg. 23)
  • Lift (flip) charges – Item 16 (pg. 24)
  • Flat tire responsibilities for Equipment Inspections – Item 28 (pg. 32)
  • Shipper Liability – Item 29 (pg. 35)
  • Maximum Limited Liability – Item 32 (pg. 38)
  • Minimum Lading and Equipment Claims – Items 32 & 33 (pg. 38-39)
  • Equipment Depreciation Factors – Item 36 (pg. 43) & Appendix F (pg. 85)
  • Restricted and Prohibited Shipments – Item 42 & 43 (pg. 46) & Appendix B (pg. 75)

    * Note: This list of changes is not exhaustive. Please review the new R&PG.

  • If you have any questions, please send an email to