US Railroads Reached Tentative Agreement with Railroad Labor Unions But Challenges Remain.
On September 16th, 2022 the United States freight railroad carriers and railroad labor unions reached a tentative agreement that helped curtail a railroad strike that would have crippled already stressed freight railroad operations across the country.
Chuck Baker, president of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) said “While the vast majority of short line railroads were not part of this national bargaining round, a strike would have immediately impacted our railroads and our customers, as nearly all short line customer shipments connect with Class I carriers along their journey. We are confident the agreement that was reached will ensure that rail employees will be well-compensated for the jobs they perform as members of the nation’s critical workforce and that railroads will be able to retain and attract skilled and valued employees into the future.”
While this development is a step in the right direction, the rail industry is still facing an uphill battle with shortages of both railcars and chassis equipment. These shortages are resulting in increased wait times at ports. Celtic Marine and Logistics is committed to delivering the highest quality service to our customers by helping guide them through these challenging times. The best way to help mitigate the issues currently faced in the rail industry is pre-planning. Some carriers are now requiring 6-8 week pre-alerts so we are working diligently with each of our clients to help them ensure all paperwork is received well in advance.
In addition to equipment shortages, staffing issues have created chassis equipment issues at both the ports and rail ramps, with inland rail ramps seeing the most impact. Although the surge of inbound freight has cooled after COVID, essentially halting operations at the ports, aging equipment, in dire need of repair, has been stacking up at rail yards with no one available to make those repairs or load containers.
While these challenges persist, Celtic Marine & Logistics remains dedicated to doing everything we can to help our clients navigate these issues and provide the highest level of customer support in the industry.