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Following our recent post on September 12th, 2022, the most recent developments include the following. As of September 14th, 2022, an agreement has been successfully reached with 9 out of the 12 unions. Due to the incoming “cooling off” period expiration on Friday September 16th, 2022, rail vendors have been preparing for a potential shut down. Preparations include the following contingency plans issued by Class I railroads:

Norfolk has released a second update following their first statement including the following Contingency Plans:

  • Effective 17:00 local time on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, Norfolk Southern will close all gates to Intermodal traffic. This will be an adjustment of 5 hours later than what was stated on Service Alert 09122022 – 124.

All other General Guidelines and EMP and TMX statements will remain the same as previously outlined in Norfolk’s original statement linked above.

BNSF has released multiple statements as of September 12- 14, 2022. Including the implementation of all the following guidelines:

  • Effective Wednesday, September 14 at 12:01 am, 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.
  • Intermodal: Cicero, Corwith, Memphis, Seattle International Gateway (SIG) and South Seattle Intermodal Facilities: Effective 12:01 am on Friday, September 16, BNSF will close all in-gates for loaded or empty intermodal units
  • Automotive: Birmingham, Logistics Park Chicago, Kansas City and Richmond Automotive Facilities: Effective 12:01 am on Friday, September 16, BNSF will close all in-gates for all automobiles

Regarding negotiations President Joe Biden’s administration made contingency plans to ensure deliveries of critical goods in the event of a shutdown of the U.S. rail system. Railroads including Union Pacific (UNP.N), Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRKa.N) BNSF, CSX (CSX.O) and Norfolk Southern (NSC.N) have until a minute after midnight on Friday to reach tentative deals with three hold-out unions representing about 60,000 workers. The Biden administration urges rail unions to reach an agreement and invited Rail unions to meet Wednesday morning at the white house. Marty Walsh, a labor department spokesman stated, “we will host the rail companies and the unions in Washington”. That being said, Noatum remains hopeful that agreements will be reached.

If you have any questions, please contact your local Noatum Logistics representative.