(Update 9/15/22) U.S. railroads and labor unions have reached a tentative agreement, which averts a looming labor strike that could have started at the end of this week. According to JOC.com, inland ports such as those operated by the South Carolina Ports Authority “are resuming normal operations immediately.”
Contract deals have been worked out between the railroads and 10 of the 12 U.S. rail unions, but the remaining two unions are the biggest in the country and represent over 90,000 employees.
If an agreement is not reached with the remaining unions, a strike or lockout may occur as early as 12:01 on Friday, September 16.
In the meantime, Norfolk Southern (NS) will close all gates and stop accepting new international or domestic freight on Wednesday (9/14) 5pm local time. No other railroads have announced their plan to suspend intermodal service yet.
The U.S. Congress can block or delay strike by appointing an arbitrator to reach a deal within 65 days. The Biden administration is heavily involved in the talks and leaning on both sides to avoid a strike.
Suggestion: For recent import/export containers due at rail, consider terminating the shipment at the port and arranging for transload or long-haul drayage.
Dimerco will keep you posted on any new developments.