An unprecedented railroad strike could have supply chain and economic consequences for Memphis and the rest of the nation.
“There’s air, road and rail,” said Woodson Dunavant of Memphis-based Dunavant Enterprises. “If you cut one of those three arteries off, it’s going to be catastrophic for everybody.”
“Eighty-five percent of containerized goods coming into the Mid-South from overseas are coming in on one of the five Class I rails that are based here in Memphis or near Memphis,” Dunavant said.
“This could be significant not only for Memphis but the United States in terms of logistical infrastructure disruption.”
Manufacturers and consumers have been grappling with holes in the global supply chain for more than a year, and additional strain from another sector could have unknown effects, Dunavant said.
“There’s also all of the congestion still at the ports,” he said. “From L.A. to the East Coast, they’re already under major stress, and not being able to move containers from those yards via rail would just compound the issue.”