Several major U.S. freight railroads cut freight services ahead of schedule

Several major U.S. freight railroads cut freight services ahead of schedule

American railroad workers may go on strike! Several major US freight railroads have begun to reduce freight services ahead of schedule
It is reported that in response to the possible strike of railway workers after 0:00 on September 16 (this Friday), several major freight railway companies in the United States have begun to reduce freight services ahead of schedule.

According to reports, several major US freight railroads including Union Pacific (UP), Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), American CSX and Norfolk Southern (NS) , must reach a preliminary agreement with the union representing about 60,000 workers by 0:00 on Friday, otherwise union strikes and employer shutdowns will likely occur.

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that nearly 30 percent of all U.S. cargo, including non-containerized cargo, travels by train. A strike would cost the U.S. economy about $2 billion a day and exacerbate supply chain woes, according to estimates by the Association of American Railroads.

With yet to reach an agreement with the two largest railroad unions in the U.S. and the unions refusing to pledge not to strike, Amtrak issued a notice over the weekend that it has begun developing contingency plans to ensure operations can be safely suspended in the event of a strike and resumed when operations resume. Able to restart quickly.

Beginning on September 12, rail companies stopped accepting shipments of dangerous goods and other safety-sensitive goods to ensure that such goods would not be left on unattended trains or in unsafe places in the event of a strike.

Separately, some rail companies plan to implement additional restrictions that could affect food suppliers and retailers using intermodal services to connect ships, trains and trucks. BNSF Railroad, serving the western U.S., said it would suspend acceptance of refrigerated intermodal freight; NS Railroad, serving the eastern U.S., said it would suspend accepting all intermodal freight.

It is reported that U.S. industry groups are pressuring the U.S. Congress to avoid the worst-case scenario. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said a nationwide suspension of rail service would have a huge impact on the country, leading to waste of perishable food, disrupting the movement of goods and hindering the movement of fuel and chemicals.

U.S. food, energy, auto and retail groups have also called for Congress to intervene, saying rail outages could threaten everything from global food supplies to the movement of goods related to the Christmas holiday.
Amid a possible railroad strike, U.S. farmers are harvesting corn, wheat and soybeans for export around the world, the National Grain and Feed Association said. “The economic damage to the entire food and agricultural supply chain will be rapid and severe.”

“Congress should step aside from rail disputes and tell rail companies to do what other business leaders have done and sit down and negotiate a contract that employees will accept,” the BLET union said in a statement.
In addition, the strike action will affect operations at ports across the U.S., as a sizable portion of containers are shipped from terminals by train, including from Los Angeles, Long Beach, New York-New Jersey, Savannah, Seattle-Tacoma and Virginia.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka emphasized the importance of avoiding strikes. “Efficient rail operations are critical to the Port of Los Angeles, with two-thirds of our cargo leaving California by rail,” Seroka said in a statement to JOC.

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