Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are looking for creative solutions to the supply chain problems.
Some say freight trains may help alleviate a backlog of goods at U.S. ports. Cargo is still piling up at the Los Angeles port, and with a shortage of truck drivers, officials there are relying more on rail. Gary Huddleston, a food industry consultant with the Texas Retailers Association, says local distributors are also thinking about using trains even more. However, there are some goods, like grocery items, where rail isn't the best.
"[It’s] because of all the limitations on where freight trains go because of tracks,” Huddleston said. “Also, frankly the number of regulations the railroad industry has from government and regulatory agencies.”
He says freight could provide some temporary help, but he believes the long-term solution is addressing the U.S. port backup and hiring more truck drivers.
“One, you have to have containers, which has been in short supply. Then, once a freight train gets to a distribution point, there still has to be a truck to unload that product and take it to either store or to a distribution point,” Huddleston explained.