Technology companies that provide the economy with crucial semiconductor chips have begun switching cargo shipments from railroads to trucks as a nationwide freight rail strike approaches.
Even while preparatory actions are being made, a work stoppage is not necessarily certain. Weekend meetings between railroads and the remaining unions to discuss tentative agreements continue. Railroad workers are continuing a push toward a proposal that would provide historically high pay rises.
However, the alignment of the four labor unions that have denied the ratification of a labor deal would impact approximately $2.8 billion in chemical cargo that is moved weekly. Therefore, railroads are taking appropriate measures to handle the sensitive cargo in accordance with federal regulations as well.
According to reports made by CNBC, the railroad carriers prioritize securing and the movement of security-sensitive materials like chlorine for drinking water and hazardous materials. Additionally, tech cargos that are being transported are critical to the high-tech sector and auto industry.
Goetz Alebrand, head of Ocean freight for the Americas at DHL Global Forwarding, claims that “even though there are more trucks and chassis, it does not mean there are enough trucks to move all rail cargo onto trucks.”
A rail strike could begin on December 9, if no agreement is reached between unions and rail companies. Congress can intervene using its power through the Constitution’s Commerce Clause to introduce legislation, stop a strike or lockout, and set terms of the agreements between the unions and carriers.
Alebrand added, “Congress is back in session next week, we now have to wait to see what happens”.
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