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A clearance request is needed when an open top load shipment is any one of the following: 

  • More than 11 feet high
  • More than 10' 8" wide
  • More than 60 feet long
  • If any part of the load overhangs the sides or ends of the loaded car
  • Concentrated load (Shorter than 18 feet long and weighs more than 140,000 pounds)
  • Heavier than 150,000 pounds
  • Value greater than $1,000,000
Step-by-Step Guide for Shipping Dimensional Freight

Log in to ShipCSX and use the Clearance Bureau tool to submit the forms below.

1. Request Clearance
You must log in to ShipCSX and submit a Clearance Request Form to have your dimensional load evaluated for clearance and routing options. All dimensional shipments must receive clearance from CSX. When your load is approved, we will send you a CSXT clearance file number. If you have questions, please contact [email protected].

2. Get a Price
Once your load is approved, you can get a price for shipping it. Log in to ShipCSX to submit a Price Request Form.

3. Request a Heavy-Duty Flat Car
If your dimensional load is longer than 18 feet and weighs more than 190,000 lbs., or is shorter than 18 feet and weighs more than 140,000 lbs., log in to ShipCSX and request a heavy-duty flat car.

If you need a standard rail car, log in to ShipCSX and use the Car Order tool.

4. Load Your Shipment
Shippers are responsible for properly loading and securing lading for safe transport to destination. Any questions regarding AAR Open-Top Loading Rules should be sent to the CSX Load Engineering & Design Team at [email protected]. Please include dimensions, weights, securement calculations and photographs.

5. Request Inspection of the Loaded Shipment
All clearance implicated shipments must be accurately measured and documented on the appropriate Clearance Form and submitted to the CSX Clearance Bureau. These loads must also be secured in compliance with AAR Loading Rules as stated above in item #4. Both inspections must be performed and approved prior to any movement of the rail car. Call CSX’s Mechanical Department at 904-366-5313 to arrange the measuring of a dimensionally loaded rail car. Provide company name, location, address, contact person and phone number. CSX Load Engineering & Design Services can provide guidance on proper securement, email [email protected]. Allow enough advance notice for the inspection to be scheduled.

6. Submit Shipping Instructions
Shipping instructions give CSX the details needed for moving your shipment. Log in to ShipCSX and use the Shipping Instructions tool to complete and submit.

• Special Train/Switch Service
If CSX determines that your shipment must move in a special train, you must log in to ShipCSX and complete the special train/switch service authorization form.