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To: BNSF Agricultural Products Customers

Improvements Coming to BNSF Ag Shipping Instructions Tool

Beginning December 7th, 2015, the shipping instructions tool and the Ag waybill process will be enhanced. This upgrade will streamline the rating, as well as the prepay process, and will dramatically improve efficiency and utilization of BNSF cars.

The newly enhanced Web tool will now recognize when a customer submits a waybill for a BNSF-owned or leased covered hopper holding one of the Ag-related commodities that participate in the COT program. In order for this to happen, however, you'll need to transmit your shipping instructions via a bill of lading and provide us with your COT number or grain permit ID number on all BNSF owned/leased covered hoppers. This applies to grain unit and single shipments only (Shuttle/DET orders are excluded from this change) and ensures receipt of pre-payment credits (COT Tariff 4090).

The following reflects the changes to the Ag shipping instructions tool:

Single Car Billing

  • If/when a Grain Permit ID # is applied on the grain entry page, the equivalent COT number will auto-populate on the waybill.
Unit Car Billing
  • If/when a Grain Permit ID # is applied on the grain entry page, the COT number will be required on all equipment billed.
  • For multi-car shipments, utilize the "Add Equipment" and "COT Numbers in Range" feature to update your equipment information. COT information can be applied in either sequential (numerical) or repetitive order.

Lottery/Tariff Car Billing
  • Lottery and Tariff car orders do not have an equivalent COT#; therefore, only a permit is required.
If you have any questions please contact the Ag Desk at 1-800-234-9396 or via email

If you have any questions, please send an email to