Mike Steenhoek on 2023 Rail Outlook: We’re not in the clear just yet

A national rail strike was recently averted, bringing a sigh of relief to agriculture. However, additional challenges are expected in the new year.

Soy Transportation Coalition’s Mike Steenhoek shares his main takeaways.

“One of the big lessons learned is that just because the strike was averted, which we were very happy that it certainly didn’t proceed to that point, there are clearly lingering issues within the rail sector that continue to manifest itself. A lot of it does center around having sufficient workers to satisfy these jobs within the rail sector, and the rail industry is not alone in that. Other industries, like trucking and the barge industry, they’re all struggling to get an adequate supply of workers. But, this is particularly acute within the rail sector. There still is some frustration between railroad workers and railroads with the terms and conditions of the agreement that was signed into law by the President and passed by Congress. While that certainly was beneficial and we appreciate that we’re clearly not out of the woods yet. I unfortunately forecast some additional challenges in terms of the rail sector into 2023. We obviously hope that it gets better than what we’ve witnessed these last couple of years, but there still will be some challenges.”