The US Chamber of Commerce urged President Biden to resolve the ongoing labor negotiations between the Class I freight railroads and the twelve rail unions, which could worsen the congestion at US ports.
ccording to Chamber CEO, Suzanne Clark, “the National Mediation Board’s (NMB) decision to release the Class I freight railroads and the twelve rail unions from mediation presents a new challenge to the U.S. business community, which is already navigating a difficult environment. Unless the Administration acts, either party is free to exercise “self-help” options – including a strike – beginning on July 18, 2022.”
The U.S. business community faces enormous challenges today from record inflation, labor shortages, and ongoing supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And we are now facing uncertainty over the possibility of further disruptions during preparations for the holiday shopping season
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As Ms. Clark explained, “any breakdown would be disastrous for U.S. consumers and the economy, and potentially return us to the historic supply chain challenges during the depths of the pandemic.”
We remain optimistic that both sides will be able to resolve their differences and voluntarily reach a new agreement. However, the Administration’s next steps will be critical in this regard
Making an analysis into port congestion globally, it is expected to last until early 2023 and keep spot freight rates high. As Reuters reports, the COVID-19 outbreak has lengthened ship delivery times since 2020, increasing freight costs, while the Russia-Ukraine conflict and lockdowns in Shanghai added to supply chain disruptions.
Furthermore, according to Peter Sundara, head of global ocean freight product for the global logistics division at Visy Industries, “the current congestions, not only the ports but also the landside infrastructure, will be there at least till Q1 2023.”