Chicago intermodal rail delays severely threaten trade

February 25, 2018 – The Journal of Commerce ( is reporting that severe delays in the Chicago rail system are holding up shipments.


“Major delays are plaguing shippers and logistics providers in Chicago because of a perfect storm of winter weather, intermodal rail yard delays, chassis shortages, and tighter truck capacity exacerbated by the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate.

Although not limited to Chicago, the top US freight hub has been cited for the most severe gridlock and so much drayage demand that some motor carriers will not accept new customers until April.

Multiple trucking executives told that they are charging accessorial fees on some hauls and imposing $75 to $150 detention penalties after one hour sitting at an intermodal rail yard.”

“This is the most disastrous rail logjam in Chicago that I’ve ever seen,” said Rick Held, Held & Associates.

Canadian National Railway (CN) lays the blame at weather delays, chassis shortages and the new electronic logging device (ELD) mandate for truckers which takes effect April 1st of this year, but “trucking and logistics executives have expressed frustration at intermodal rail yard operations since the beginning of the year, worried the slowdown will further alienate the driver pool,” according to the JOC report.

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