Loading & Shipment Safety | BNSF

Loading & Shipment Safety

Whether you're using rail for the first time, introducing a new product line, changing your load configurations from one mode of transportation to another, experiencing damage problems or simply reinforcing your good loading habits, BNSF's Load and Ride Solutions (LARS) team is prepared to help. Through our free, value-added service, we'll help meet your needs with cost-effective methods for safe loading and lading securement. Explore the tabs below to learn how we can get you there safely and on budget. You can also view a video on services LARS offers our customers.

BNSF has solid processes in place to help you with your loading and shipment safety needs, including the following areas:

    Safe shipping begins with a balanced load and proper cargo securement. LARS offers a variety of free services to meet customer needs. These services include on-site loading evaluations, loading diagrams, complete ride-quality monitoring programs and more. We want to help ensure that your shipment moves safely from shipping origin to your customer.
    The LARS Mission is to help promote a safe transportation network. We work with our customers when it comes to proper loading, securement and weight distribution. We're able to provide on-site training and coordinate test shipments with a new product line. A safe transportation network helps facilitate a fluid transportation cycle.
    Special provisions exist for moving restricted commodity shipments. LARS excels at providing loading and securement expertise for restricted commodity shipments, including hazardous materials shipments, in order to help facilitate safe and fluid movement.
    LARS directs a comprehensive ride quality audit program that measures BNSF's handling on our transcontinental system to promote safe and incident-free shipments for our customers. We monitor our train and yard operations, intermodal shipments, cargo-specific handling, and new loading method test shipments. This program is unique among Class I Railroads and on-going test results validates BNSF's quality transportation network. Any ride-quality test exceptions are reviewed with the appropriate BNSF team for corrective action.

Obtain generic loading diagrams for some of the more commonly shipped products. Our team is also available to develop a customized loading diagram to meet your needs.

Boxcar Loading Diagrams


Use of BNSF loading and securement methods are restricted to shipments moving on BNSF and approval must be obtained from a BNSF Load and Ride Solutions representative prior to shipping. These methods cover shipments of non hazardous material commodities, unless otherwise approved. Finally, because BNSF loading methods are not authorized with other rail carriers, it is the shipper's responsibility to get authorization from all carriers in the routing.

How to Manage Overloaded Cars

Loading for Success

Load and Ride Solutions team (LARS)

We host a number of resources that you can use to gather information before you ship your goods. Explore the following links to assist with your Loading and Shipment Safety needs.

BNSF's goal is to provide our customers with safe, efficient, damage-free service. However, sometimes transit damage can occur and BNSF's Product Recovery experts are here to investigate and document extent and cause of damage.



Area Name Contact
Report Loss or Damage Product Recovery
Tel: 800-333-4686,option 1
(answered during normal business hours)

Loss and Damage Reporting

Damage Notification Report

Our loading and shipment safety team focuses on prevention services, whether it's through improved load designs, better application of dunnage materials or better packaging. The key is our partnership with you.

Here's a list of items and information you'll need on hand to get you started.

  • Your company name and mailing address
  • Contact person and phone number
  • Where you are shipping from, the route and type of service
  • What you are shipping
  • Loading plan (if applicable)


Area Name Contact
Loading and Shipment Safety Tel: 800-333-4686, Option 1
(answered during normal
business hours)
Cargo Claim Information Tel: 800-333-4686, Option 2

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Safety & Security

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