The prospective rail strike that looms over the nation this week has the potential to be a complete nightmare as we approach peak season. I suppose the silver lining is that it would help the public understand the economic impact and value of the supply chain.

But it would be better if people learned about that in a less disruptive way.

If the rail strike happens and lasts for any duration of time, the impact on other modes of transportation will be immediate and jarring. For example, one-third of U.S. grain exports travel by rail. The Association of American Railroads says we would have to add 467,000 long-haul trucks per day to make up for that capacity.

If the rail workers strike, you can bet there will immediate upward pressure on trucking rates. That will force shippers to review all their transportation costs and distribution points since they’ll want to be careful not to exceed their budgets.

There is probably no way for other modes to absorb all the capacity that would be lost to the supply chain if the rail workers strike. Every shipper will be forced to prioritize. While we would like to think everything will eventually get where it needs to go, that’s impossible to guarantee and everything will get more expensive.

If this happens – and we hope it doesn’t – pop.capacity is in a position to help in several ways.

First, we can help find transload facilities for shippers who need to shift product from rail to truck.

For shippers who need to reduce length of haul, we can help by connecting them with more strategic distribution centers.

We are in a position to start the process now if shippers want to find short-term storage or cross-dock locations. We don’t mind if people end up not needing us but with a situation this serious looming, we think they’ll be happy to know us.

Here’s how to contact us (link) so we can protect you against the worst-case scenarios

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