Thanks to consistent private investments in infrastructure and equipment, technology and operational enhancements, railroads are confident they have the people, equipment, and capacity to serve their customers’ needs and help the nation’s economy recover from the pandemic and current supply chain disruptions. Railroads have and will continue to keep trains moving across the nation to provide a critical, reliable lifeline to manufacturers, retailers and other rail customers today and to ensure they can meet an anticipated 30% increase in future freight demand. Case in point: during the first half of 2021, railroads handled the highest volume of intermodal traffic ever moved in a January-June period. Some weeks in late 2020 and the first half of 2021, U.S. railroads were handling more than 300,000 containers and trailers per week, levels that no one expected when the pandemic began.
Railroads are diligently working to help their customers address the current supply chain problems and are taking whatever reasonable steps they can — and even extraordinary ones — to find creative ways to modify their terminal operations and maximize efficiency. Here are some examples: