Return to Blog September 13, 2022

Tilley Prepares For Possible Rail Strike Delays

Tilley News

UPDATE: UPDATE: Negotiations have resulted in a tentative agreement that will help all parties avoid immediate delays. We continue to monitor the situation and will provide further updates on Tilley shipments and services to keep our customers informed.

A potential rail strike could pose a significant disruption for thousands of businesses in the US. At Tilley, we’re leveraging our considerable transportation assets, including trucks, trailers and auxiliary drivers, to reduce the impact felt by our partners.

Like thousands of other businesses, we rely on daily railcar deliveries of raw materials like propylene glycol, di-propylene glycol, ethanol, glycerin, methanol, and sorbitol.  Additional products offered by Tilley could also be affected if work stoppages continue in the weeks ahead.

Negotiations between key labor unions and rail carriers are still ongoing. However, rail carriers and logistics companies have announced cancellations on some shipments, including hazardous waste. A national rail strike could begin as soon as Friday, September 16.

Looming Rail Strike Already Causing Delays

The following notification from Norfolk Southern Railroad includes service to the main Tilley facility:

Norfolk Southern (NS) has begun enacting its contingency plans for a controlled shutdown of our network at 00:01 on Friday, September 16. 

  • Effective 12:00 (noon) on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, NS will close all gates to Intermodal traffic.
  • NS will discontinue filling reservations on equipment effective at 00:01 Tuesday, September 13.

What To Expect In The Days And Weeks Ahead

The rail strike would be the first in the United States in three decades. The effects would be felt immediately due to the volume of transportation provided by rail. The national rail system transports nearly 30% of all freight shipments in the US. Any delays would cost billions in lost revenue within hours of work stoppages and potentially trigger factory closures and increased consumer prices if left unresolved.

Unfortunately, the trucking industry is already severely strained and could face elevated gas prices by winter, leaving over-the-road transportation as a suboptimal solution. The impact of these delays will depend on the length of the strike and the ability of material suppliers to support Tilley’s ability to use our fleet of trucks, trailers and drivers as an alternative to rail delivery. 

Count On Tilley Distribution’s Energy And Resources

As we prepare our truck fleets, our sales teams will reach out to customers affected by these changes and offer our best solutions. Please know that Tilley is exploring all options and resources to address your concerns.

If you have questions about your orders, please contact your Tilley representative.

Full statement from Norfolk Southern