Government Shutdown and Freight Effects

In recent times, the possibility of a government shutdown has become a pressing concern … again. At Falcon Fulfillment, we understand that the logistics and fulfillment industry plays a pivotal role in the economy, and a government shutdown could have far-reaching consequences. In this blog, we will delve into the potential impact of a government shutdown on various federal agencies involved in freight and supply chain management. In the event of a government shutdown, federal agencies have established shut-down plans to navigate the challenges.

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Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)

Percent furloughed: 94%
In the case of a government shutdown, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) would face a significant challenge, with 94% of its workforce furloughed. This independent agency, responsible for overseeing container shipping competition in the U.S., plays a crucial role in ensuring a competitive and reliable international ocean transportation supply chain. During a shutdown, most of FMC’s operations would cease, affecting shippers and carriers involved in the container trades. Activities such as filing applications, license requests, and agreement reports would be put on hold.

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

Percent furloughed: 35%
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), responsible for railroad safety oversight, would experience a partial shutdown with 35% of its workforce furloughed. During this time, safety rulemakings unrelated to FRA’s financial assistance programs would be delayed. This delay could be concerning, especially in the context of safety rulemakings following incidents such as the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment in February.

U.S. Coast Guard

Percent furloughed: 13%
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), responsible for vessel safety and port security, would continue most of its functions with only 13% of its workforce furloughed. However, as the USCG is part of the Department of Homeland Security, its service members would go without pay during a shutdown, potentially impacting morale.

Surface Transportation Board (STB)

Percent furloughed: 99%
In the event of a government shutdown, the Surface Transportation Board (STB), which regulates and monitors competition among U.S. freight railroads, would face a near-complete shutdown, with 99% of its workforce furloughed. This would impact various activities, including regulatory filings, procedural schedules, and access to rail lines for shippers.

U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd)

Percent furloughed: 24%
MarAd, responsible for regulating domestic U.S. maritime markets, would maintain most of its functions during a government shutdown. However, specific activities within MarAd’s Office of Cargo and Commercial Sealift would be suspended. This includes staff support for emergency crisis management and the approval of vessel transfers out of the U.S.-flag registry.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Percent furloughed: 8%
With 92% of its employees retained during a shutdown, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would continue its core operations, including cargo inspection at U.S. ports. However, policy, regulatory, legislative, auditing, and training activities would likely be suspended, affecting importers and potentially leading to slower clearance of shipments.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Percent furloughed: 0%
FHWA, responsible for highway infrastructure, would continue its operations without furloughs, thanks to funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). However, state agencies remain concerned about funding delays potentially impacting project timelines.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Percent furloughed: 0%
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), regulating commercial vehicles and carriers, would continue its operations during a government shutdown. FMCSA positions are funded through various sources, ensuring that commercial vehicle regulations remain in place.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Percent furloughed: 0%
NHTSA, responsible for commercial vehicle safety, would maintain its functions with available multiyear funding from prior-year appropriations and supplemental appropriations. All activities and personnel funded through the Highway Trust Fund or the IIJA’s supplemental appropriations would continue.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Percent furloughed: 93%
EPA is expected to maintain most of its core functions during a government shutdown, with 93% of its workforce retained. However, approvals for state requests, including EPA environmental permits for freight-related infrastructure projects, could face suspension.

The Impact of Shipping and Delivery on E-commerce Satisfaction

In the evolving world of e-commerce, customer satisfaction hinges not only on product quality and price but also on the efficiency and reliability of shipping and delivery services. Understanding the significance of these factors is crucial in enticing potential e-commerce leads. In this blog, we delve into the key takeaways from a recent survey regarding shipping and delivery experiences, and how these findings can shape your approach to enticing e-commerce businesses.

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A government shutdown has the potential to disrupt the intricate web of agencies that play a crucial role in the logistics and fulfillment industry. As Falcon Fulfillment strives to maintain the efficiency and reliability of its supply chain operations, it’s imperative to remain vigilant and adaptable in the face of such challenges.

The logistics and fulfillment sector, often regarded as a backbone of the U.S. economy, relies heavily on the seamless movement of goods. Any interruptions caused by a government shutdown can ripple through the supply chain, affecting businesses, manufacturers, retailers, and ultimately, consumers.

To mitigate the impact of a potential shutdown, businesses should consider contingency plans. This might include diversifying transportation and warehousing options, ensuring clear communication with partners and clients, and staying abreast of regulatory changes. Additionally, building resilient supply chains that can withstand disruptions, whether from government actions or other unforeseen events, is a strategic imperative.

Contact Falcon Fulfillment today to get more information on supply chains and fulfillment and discover how our 3PL services can help protect your supply chain and logistics management.

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