October 5, 2022

Companies express concerns if railway workers halt production

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – You may not see as many of them as you once did, but trains are still a vital part of the country’s supply chain.

About a third of the freight that crosses the United States travels on rails.

Earlier this week we came within 48 hours of a strike that would have diverted most of these trains…

“Rail is a supply chain, just like UPS and the postal services, it’s all a supply chain and rail is a supply chain that’s kind of out of sight for most people, it’s It’s one thing that stops them in the middle of the road when you’re in a rush to get somewhere,” Fisackerly said.

If you don’t work with or about the railways, you may not realize how much of an impact they can have on almost any industry.

Meryl Fisackerly, chief operating officer at The Golden Triangle Development LINK works with businesses daily and she says the number of materials being shipped by train can shock people.

“I don’t think people realize the amount of raw materials and finished materials from a business perspective that can be transported by rail and when that’s interrupted, the impact on a business and that in theory , will impact people’s daily lives,” Fisackerly said.

and Jason Colburn of Logistic Services would agree…

“One of the main reasons why the railway is so important is that it is transported more by barge or by road. Rail is extremely important in helping to move products throughout our industry, from customers to sourcing customers. Whether it’s grain, vehicles or other materials from state to state, it’s very important,” Colburn said.

And after unions representing railway workers across the country announced a possible strike, Colburn said the companies he worked with were beginning to worry.

“Yes, we are worried. Customers are starting to worry and we’ve had some contact with me this week to start preparing in case a strike comes into play,” Colburn said.

After marathon negotiations earlier this week, industry and union representatives have reached a tentative agreement.

The proposal still needs to be voted on by union members, which could take a few weeks, but the trains are expected to keep rolling.