PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A dispute on wages and contracts among the railroad industry, could leave workers and freight deliveries on hold.
“It’s the next potential nightmare and we watch it, we follow the stories and we hope for the best,” said John Giasullo, owner of Classic Cars of Palm Beach.
Giasullo said the last few years has been a rollercoaster in the supply chain, and a rail strike could once again hit the breaks on inventory.
“If I don’t have inventory, the guys can’t sell cars, they can’t eat," said Giasullo. "We have families that kind of depend on us, so for us too, it’s not out of necessity."
He said he has customers nationwide and relies on trucks to ship cars to customers.
"For out-of-state I really need trucking, and that's why if there is a rail strike and all those people move to trucks, they're going to go to the big players and the little guys like us are going to get hurt for sure," said Giasullo.
It’s not just automotive companies that could be impacted, just about every industry relies on rails for deliveries and the demand could fall on truck drivers.
"There is a big strain on the trucking industry itself," said truck driver James Halloran. "I mean everything that’s in your house has probably been delivered by a semi-truck."
Halloran said he drives 70-hours a week between Atlanta and Miami, delivering anything from pharmaceuticals, produce and frozen food.
"If the railroad crashes, just like everything else, you just have to be patient," said Halloran. "There’s not a shortage of truck drivers out here, there’s just a supply and demand and there’s a chain that goes along with it."
Halloran worries with a rail strike, truckers may have to carry more cargo, and be forced to drive extra hours on already dangerous roads.
“These people are cutting us off all the time and with air brakes there’s a delay in slowing down for one," said Halloran, "and when you got 80,000 pounds you can’t stop on the dime like a regular car.”
According to a study by carinsurance.net, in the U.S. there are 500,000+ truck-related crashes, with 5,000+ fatalities per year.
52% of large truck accident deaths happened on major roads.