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4/13/2011 5:30:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Railroad Crunch Slows Truck Deliveries

Deliveries of thousands of new pickup trucks from the Detroit Three manufacturers are being delayed because railroads do not have the capacity to handle rising demand, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

About 4,000 Ram pickup trucks are parked at the Michigan State Fairgrounds & Exposition Center in Detroit waiting to be shipped, the newspaper said. General Motors also has delayed shipping about 1,000 vehicles at a time and Ford Motor Co. is storing trucks at two facilities.

The recovering economy apparently caught railroad operators unprepared. After putting thousands of rail cars into storage during the recession, they do not have enough rolling stock to handle higher demand for fast deliveries of the vehicles as well as other freight, the newspaper said.

The shortage has added from a few days to a few weeks to delivery times for some vehicles, the newspaper said. 

The Association of American Railroads said about 1.53 million railcars were in use March 1, down from 1.6 million in July 2009, the newspaper reported.

By Light & Medium Truck

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