Florida Braces for the Fallout from Potential Railroad Strikes

Toni Koraza

Florida leaders and businesses are bracing for rail service strikes that may further disrupt supply lines.

The effects of a railroad employee's strike on the economy may be "catastrophic."

The trucking sector and train freight lines are intricately linked, but many people are unaware of this, and there aren't enough vehicles or truckers to fill up the slack.

The ripple effect

"It's estimated that if there is the rail stop, nationally, we'll need 460,000 more trucks to pick up that slack, which is just not practical or feasible by any stretch of the imagination," President and CEO of the Florida Trucking Association Alix Miller said.

The American Trucking Associations gave a stark warning about the disrupted supply chain if the strike happens.

"Idling all 7,000 long-distance daily freight trains in the U.S. would require more than 460,000 additional long-haul trucks every day, which is not possible based on equipment availability and an existing shortage of 80,000 drivers," ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said in a letter.

"As such, any rail service disruption will create havoc in the supply chain and fuel inflationary pressures across the board."

The Florida Department of Transportation is currently monitoring the potential impacts on SunRail.

"The Department continues to monitor the situation as a labor strike could impact SunRail service. More information will be available as developments occur."

Despite concerns over supply chain issues, a spokesperson for the Florida Ports Authority said the strike will most possibly have an impact on "domestic rail travel in Florida than it will have on seaports."

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