Car buyers might not get the vehicle they want on time, commuter rail lines could see service disrupted, and shipments from everything from oil to livestock feed could be snarled.
Those are just a few of the wide-ranging impacts a walkout by U.S. rail workers would have on the country’s industries and economy. A strike could happen if the railroads and unions can’t settle their differences before an early Friday walkout deadline.
Here’s how some industries are gauging the potential impacts and getting ready for the possible work stoppage.
Nearly all new vehicles that travel more than a couple hundred miles from the factory to their destination are shipped by rail because it’s more efficient, said Michael Robinet, an executive director for S&P Global Mobility. So it’s almost a certainty that new vehicles coming to the U.S. from Mexico or other countries will be delayed, he said.
“It’s not like there’s extra truck capacity to take all the vehicles that the railroads can’t carry,” Robinet said.
Automakers might be hampered in building vehicles, too, because some larger parts and raw materials are transported by rail. But Robinet said automakers will go to great lengths to get the parts to keep their factories running …read more