A looming rail strike would affect the US economy and food, fuel, auto and chemical makers, as well as their customers, leaving them all under pressure, according to an article published on a website Fortune Wednesday.
The risk of a rail strike in the US is rising, which could begin on December 5, according to the author. It would be very damaging to the economy, as many businesses have only a few days of raw material and space for finished goods and commuters would be stuck as many passenger railways use tracks owned by the freight railways them.
“And major commuter rail services in Chicago, Minneapolis, Maryland and Washington then warned that some of their operations would be suspended in the event of a rail strike.” The author said.
“Railroads haul about 40 percent of the nation’s freight each year.” Added by the author. The loss of the economy would reach $2 billion (14.2 billion yuan) per day, and 700,000 people could lose their jobs and the prices of almost everything would rise, contributing to the recession of the economy.
According to the trade group Association of American Railroads, an estimated 467,000 additional trucks per day would be needed to handle everything railroads deliver.
About 30 percent of U.S. packaged food is moved by rail, said Tom Madrecki, vice president of supply chain for the Consumer Brands Association, and the number would be larger for denser and heavier items like soup cans. .
“Major food companies do not like to discuss the threat of a rail strike because of concerns about product shortages that could lead to panic buying.” He said.
Jeff Sloan of the American Chemistry Council trade group said when the strike starts, chemical plants could be close to shutting down. As a result, consumers would have to pay more for gasoline.
Pork and chicken producers in the southern United States would be hardest hit as the cost of truck shipping feed would increase significantly. They can’t go without rail services for too long before they have to close the feed mills and they have problems,” said Max Fisher, the NGFA’s chief economist.
The retail industry is also developing contingency plans as they worry about shipping holiday goods for Christmas, the author explained. At the same time, the automobile industry would suffer more if strikes occur, “because about 75 percent of all new vehicles begin their journey from factories to dealerships on the railroad. Trains deliver about 2,000 carloads per day filled with vehicles.” Engineers can’t seem to keep their plants running during a strike.