Class 1 Freight Railroads Brace for Strike Friday- Sept-16

Class 1 Freight Railroads Brace for Strike Friday, Sept. 16


The NCBFAA Logistics Subcommittee is advising Association Members across the country that the 12 labor unions of the nation’s Class I railroads—CN, Norfolk Southern, CSX, CP, BNSF, and UP —are preparing to strike, starting at midnight on Friday, Sept. 16, if new contracts are not completed and approved.

CN has already advised that exports will not be received at its rail terminals starting at 23.59 hours on Thursday, Sept. 15, while Norfolk Southern advised that exports will not be received at its rail terminals start 12:01 hours Wednesday, Sept. 14. Exports and imports are potentially affected to and from rail terminals in Chicago and Detroit.

BNSF on Sept. 12 reported that it has already taken action on a small subset of certain commodities in advance of the service interruption, including temperature-sensitive shipments:

  • Effective Wednesday, September 14 at 12:01 a.m., BNSF will not allow Temperature Controlled Intermodal (TCI) units to in-gate at any of its intermodal facilities.
  • Customers are encouraged to pick up their TCI units that have reached their final destination and units at origin that have not been loaded onto a train.
  • Non-running TCI units used for dry bulk shipments may still be in-gated.

Containerized imports arriving at marine terminals will be halted if they do not reach the rail terminal before the strike commences. NCBFAA members should check with their truckers about import container pickups from effected rail ramps.

Check the railroad websites (see above) to find out more about service disruptions. You can also see updates from the labor unions on the National Railway Labor Conference website here.

“There is a possibility that the railroads and labor unions will reach their agreements and a strike will be avoided,” said NCBFAA Logistics Subcommittee Chair Merit Tremper. “Realizing the severity that this strike would have on the nation’s economy, President Biden may announce steps to avoid a rail shutdown, like he did in July.”

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