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Farley Transportation Co., Inc., Farley Terminal Co., Inc., Piggyback Trailermate, Inc., Systems Terminal, Inc. v. The Santa Fe Trail Transportation Company, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company, a Corporation (9th Cir. 1985)



LA Times  4/13/1991    Shippers Wait for Loads Stuck Across Nation        By BRUCE HOROVITZ Times Staff Writer

    Sitting ideal in rail terminals from California to Nebraska were about 300 loaded trailers that are Art Kinkade's responsibility.

    On Wednesday, after the nationwide rail strike began, the weight of that responsibility was bearing down Kinkade, operations manager for the South Gate-based rail shipping agent Quality Intermodal. As an agent, Quality doesn't ship goods itself but takes charge of arranging pickups and safe and timely-sometimes overnight-deliveries.

    "We come to a grinding halt," Kinkade said. "About all we can do is wait for Washington to do something.

    After working frantic, 14-hour days for the past week to get rail shipments moving to their destination before the trains stopped running, most of the company's 50 employees nationwide were relegated to catching up on paperwork Wednesday. A few employees were arranging a small number of pickups of outbound loads from customers who believed that the rail strike would end quickly.

    Quality Intermodal arranges for the door-to-door shipment of products that include Uncle Ben's rice bound for grocers and wholesalers and pizza sauce destined for Little Caesar's restaurants across the nation. It also oversees shipments of antifreeze from BASF Corp and the delivery of numerous goods to Payless Drug stores.

    However, for the moment, the 2-year-old firm is unable to pick up any more of the giant shipping containers. "We have nowhere to put them," Kinkade said. Typically, these 45-foot-long steel and 48'foot-long aluminum containers are loaded onto flat trailers placed on trains or stacked piggyback style on train cars.

    Most of the company's loaded trailers simply sat Wednesday in rail terminals, with became jammed with freight waiting to be shipped. "As of two minutes ago," Kinkade said, "my last storage facility got filled."


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