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The threat of a rail strike is a real problem if it comes to fruition and the negotiating parties cannot find common ground. Shippers are encouraged to prepare their holiday shipping plans with contingencies to avoid delays from winter weather, congestion, and disruption caused by labor stoppages. At CFI, we’re working to find solutions for late ocean freight imports because of the port congestion, and now we’ve added ways to manage the threat of a strike that could happen in mid-December.

We are helping a customer move four seafood packing lines from Europe to Alaska, normally an easy, all-water route transaction. Because of the timing stresses in the ocean freight space, we can only use the all-water route for one-third of the cargo. Another third will move via a land bridge where it would traditionally rail to Seattle, but instead, we terminated the rail and arranged trucking with drayage to Seattle, avoiding the risk of a rail strike. The remaining third is traveling by air freight because of late production issues from the supplier.

In the above case, one facility uses three different transportation options to make its plant operational by the start of the new fishing season. Three options, each specially selected to meet the timing needs of our customers, encompassing the many ways CFI can step in and adjust the plan to rise above the disruption of the season. For decades, CFI has been honing our skills, testing our mettle in the early stages of the pandemic to ensure that when times get complicated, we’re on the cutting edge of a customer-driven, solution-first approach that keeps our customers ahead of the curve. In truth, it has actually been a lot of fun to organize. Proudly showing off our skills and watching passionate problem-solvers deploy the brilliance of decades of experience, we support, advise and advocate for every shipment we touch. 

Timing issues that arise from a rail strike could cause massive issues at ports, but no cargo is as susceptible to damage due to delays as perishable cargo. When the specter of congestion rears back in the extreme weather, whether hot or cold, having an experienced perishables shipper who uses the most reliable overpacking and icing technology to protect your cargo is invaluable. If you want to stay ahead of pain points, contact your CFI representative today to see how smooth the season can run when you work with us.