A healthy and functional rail network is essential to operations at most U.S. petrochemical facilities. Over the last few years, these facilities have experienced challenges due to the country’s widespread freight rail service issues. To address concerns, leaders from LyondellBasell and the Surface Transportation Board (STB) held discussions and toured LyondellBasell’s facility in Morris, Illinois. LyondellBasell’s Morris Complex is unique in that it is served by more than one major rail carrier. Nearly 80 percent of U.S. refineries and petrochemical facilities operate in regions served by just one freight rail provider.Three members of the STB join LyondellBasell and AFPM for a tour of the LyondellBasell Morris rail yard.
“We appreciate the opportunity to engage with the Surface Transportation Board as they evaluate ways to alleviate supply chain issues,” said Scott Campbell, LyondellBasell senior director, Supply Chain, Americas. “Our industry advances the modern world through various products consumers use and depend on every day. Reliable rail service plays a critical role in allowing our products to get to our customers. As a stakeholder, the time, engagement, and questions from the STB to better understand our operations was invaluable.”
STB members toured load and unload and incoming and outgoing trains at the Morris site, as well as the facility’s extensive storage in transit (SIT) yard where rail cars are prepped and stored prior to movement. STB members in attendance included Chairman Martin J. Oberman, Vice Chairman Michelle Schultz and Board Member Patrick Fuchs.
LyondellBasell Morris rail logistics staff and company leaders, including Russ Daniels, senior director, Global Supply Chain, Scott Campbell, senior director, Supply Chain Americas and Phillip Fordham, manager, Federal Government Relations, accompanied the STB during the tour. Additionally, members from leading industry organizations, including Rob Benedict, vice president of Petrochemicals and Midstream, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), and Jill Brubaker, director, Federal Affairs, American Chemistry Council, attended the tour.
“Competition promotes innovation, drives better service, and fosters a partnership between the service provider and customer,” said AFPM Vice President Rob Benedict. “This site visit showcased how rail competition can benefit all parties. Unfortunately, the vast majority of AFPM’s members don’t operate in a competitive rail market and are suffering from it. AFPM is very appreciative of the STB members who traveled to Morris to tour this facility and to the LyondellBasell staff for hosting us. Nothing conveys the importance of competition in freight rail better than seeing the effects of it yourself, firsthand.”
LyondellBasell is a leader in the global chemical industry. The company's products, materials and technologies are advancing sustainable solutions for food safety, access to clean water, healthcare and fuel efficiency in more than 100 international markets. LyondellBasell’s Morris site is one of the few petrochemical facilities in the Midwest. The site produces materials used to make household and industrial bottles, food packaging, automotive parts and medical products. These materials include ethylene, propylene, polyethylene and high-density polyethylene. For more information, click here.
The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) is the leading trade association representing the makers of the fuels that keep us moving, the petrochemicals that are the essential building blocks for modern life, and the midstream companies that get our feedstocks and products where they need to go. We make the products that make life better, safer and more sustainable — we make progress.