The Disruption Report #76 – I-95 Collapse Will Hurt East Coast Businesses, Chances of West Coast Port Strike Looking Ominous

I-95 Collapse Will be bad for Business

I-95 is our most important east coast highway. It starts at the Canadian border and ends in Miami. I have driven I-95 somewhere close to a kabillion times (I used to say a billion, but you know, inflation). I never considered the impact if it became undriveable for an extended time. That was something I thought was not going to happen.

Well, it just did. A section near Philadelphia collapsed due to a tanker fire that killed the driver and made the roadbed impassable for the next few months. It won’t, however, only be a problem for commuters and travelers; it will be a bigger problem for tractor trailer drivers who carry merchandise and those who depend on those trucks to get their goods to market.

Forbes writer Molly Bohannon put it this way n her article, “I-95 Collapse: Prices Likely To Rise Along East Coast, Buttigieg Says.”

There’s “no question” the Interstate 95 collapse in Philadelphia over the weekend will lead to higher prices of goods for people on the East Coast, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said at a press conference Tuesday, suggesting the failure of the small section of highway could have far-reaching economic impacts.

“a lot of America’s GDP” moves along that section of I-95 daily; 8% o

I-95 Collapse: Prices Likely To Rise Along East Coast, Buttigieg Says,” Molly Bohannon, Forbes, June 13, 2023

If you are an East Coast providers, retailer, or carrier, you will need to add extra time into your shipping equation. Its simply going to take longer to get your goods. How long? We don’t know yet.

The West Coast Labor Talks Are Getting HeateD

The last thing we need right now is a strike at our west coast ports. We may just get one anyway.

Talks have broken down, and job actions are taking place at the ports we depend on for shipments from Asia. Here is how Washington Post writer, Eli Tan, puts it in his article, “Canadian port workers authorize strike in near-unanimous vote.”

Though the U.S. dockworkers union has not authorized a strike, port operators represented by the Pacific Maritime Association say union workers have caused delays and work stoppages at several major shipping hubs. Portions of the ports at Los Angeles, Long Beach, Calif., Oakland, Calif., and Seattle — gateways for container ships that bring imports from Asia — have intermittently shuttered or slowed in recent weeks amid contract negotiations.

“Canadian port workers authorize strike in near-unanimous vote.,” Eli Tan, Washington PostJune 13, 2023

If this wasn’t producing enough agita, 99% of Canadian dock workers recently voted to strike on June 24, 2023 if a resolution is not found. A lot of U.S. cargo flows through Canadian ports.

Let’s hope there is a resolution. If not, we are going to have a whole new set of headaches.

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