Rumors of a rail strike return

The National Tentative Agreement presented in September has been refused by the Brotherhood or Rail Servicemen in a record turnout vote that ended in defeat by 60% of their members. This marks the second rail union to reject the offer after the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees voted no on October 10th. Based on the date of the BMWED rejection, a strike could start as early as November 19, and has been projected to cost the US economy $2 billion a day.

Luckily the negotiations have time before either side makes a detrimental decision to strike. Still, previous years of delays have given many shippers pause when any snarls threaten to entangle the supply chain. At this time of year, any issues can grow exponentially more complicated by the sheer tonnage of cargo that moves through the new year.

If a rail strike does happen, the timing couldn’t be worse. With the holiday shopping season in full swing, reducing rail capacity will drive cargo to trucks and send rates skyrocketing. Couple that with fuel volatility, weather issues from winter storms, congestion at ports normally served by railroads piling up, and a mess of disruption on the horizon.

if you’re concerned that your cargo might be impacted or if you have rail shipments that could be delayed, now is the time to contact your Nelson International representative. We’re building solutions and strategies to guide our clients through the new year with over-the-road options, transloading options, or even domestic airline strategies. When difficult times arise, a solid partner on your logistics team can help your cargo avoid delays and costly fines for detention or demurrage. With a worldwide network of partners and agents, we can help guide you through the shipping process and support your supply chain while entirely in compliance and proactive with market conditions. Contact your representative today if you want to know how Nelson can help you weather the winter.