It's fascinating the way that one change to a complex system can have all sorts of unintended consequences. For instance, there are hundreds of new Chrysler Town and County and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans built in Windsor, Ontario, sitting in lots on the Detroit waterfront because of the energy boom in the Bakken oil field in the northern US and parts of Canada.

The huge amount of crude oil coming from these sites mostly use freight trains for transport, and that supply boom has resulted in a shortage of railcars to carry other goods. According to The Windsor Star, North American crude oil transport by train has gone from 9,500 carloads in 2008 to 434,032 carloads in 2013. Making matters worse, some North American rail infrastructure is still damaged because of this year's harsh winter, and that's slowing things down even further.

Chrysler admits to The Star that it has had some delivery delays due to the freight train shortage. In the meantime, it's using more trucks to deliver its vehicles. Trucking is a far less economical solution, partially because a train can carry so many more units at one time, but alternatives are slim. The Windsor plant alone has a deal for 33 trucks to distribute the minivans around Canada and the Midwestern US.


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  • 42 Comments
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 8 Months Ago
      All of this wonderful oil available and yet gas prices exceeding 4 dollars per gallon. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer as the environment gets raped along with the petrol drivers. Your not going to get ahead no matter what petrol drivers. You all better look harder at hybrids and EV's because that PU is going to get a lot more expensive to drive to the office and back no matter how much oil the one percenters pull out of the ground at the expense of the environment and clean drinking water. They, the one percenters take our natural resources and export them out of the country as fast as they can for profit and they leave the mess for the State of Federal government to clean up. What does the public get? Some dirty jobs and higher gas prices. ROLMAO! As I enjoy driving my two 125 and 300 mile at 55 mph EV's. Enjoy!
      Cruising
      • 8 Months Ago
      Remember back in the day when car companies use to build all kinds of stuff not related to cars? Chrysler should build it's own box cars. Chrysler designed the mobile lounges you use to see at Washington Dulles Airport moving from terminal to terminal.
      brotherkenny4
      • 8 Months Ago
      The fact that the oil is available says nothing about the cost to produce it. All these great new oils sources cost more to produce. Therfore, the buyers pay more. The oil companies know this and they have never lied about the cost. They simply fail to mention it. Drill baby drill is true, we can keep producing more oil, but it will cost plenty more too. We'll never run out of oil as long as we are willing to pay more for it. These are simple economic rules that apply to everything and should be common sense to most people if they had paid attention in school. If a barrel of oil sold for $200 we would have all kinds of oil because it would be profitable to do anything to get it. We'd also have $8/gal gas, a economy in real collapse (not a faked up criminal banker one) and a planet about to expire along with numerous billions of humans.
      Jason Krumvieda
      • 8 Months Ago
      Wouldn't some sort of Pipeline fix all of those issues?
      Jason Krumvieda
      • 8 Months Ago
      I also think that if you don't live in a state that Keystone runs through you don't get to complain about it. I live in South Dakota and it would help.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jason Krumvieda
        You're right! externalities of oil production and spills never cross state lines! Those rivers of toxic sledge just get halted at the border by the magical powers of the state.
          travisjb
          • 8 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          what would a 2 wheeled menace know about externalities? lol
        Spec
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jason Krumvieda
        If the oil burned doesn't ever get into my lungs then I don't get to complain. But it does.
      Levine Levine
      • 8 Months Ago
      Good try. The fact is Chrysler mini van aint selling much these days because it is junk compared to Toyota and Honda's. Even Hyundai's Sedona is better than Chrysler's offering. But for US taxpayer gift of $25billion to bailout Chrysler, Fiat wouldn't even touch Chrysler. When Fiat exhaust the $25billion, Chrysler will cease to exist.
        bethany.omalley
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        wow. just wow. First of all as much as I am not a minivan person - check the stats. The Chrysler minivan is the top seller in their catagory. Secondly, I thought the Sedona was a KIA not a Hyundai. Thirdly, Toyota and Honda minivans are barely a blip compared to sales to the Chrysler minivans. Fourthly, Who pooped in your Cheerios this morning?
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        [blocked]
        N.O.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Don't feed the troll! He is just buthurt cause his wife left him for a Sebring driver. Yes, a Sebring driver!
      Jake
      • 8 Months Ago
      Maybe they should do like Volvo. Offer customers the opportunity to come to Detroit on a mini-vacation and pick up their new vehicle, see the sights, take in the local cuisine, enjoy the culture, and get one of those flattened pennies before they go home.
        Esvl
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jake
        That would be an excellent solution except for it being Detroit...
        Dmitriy Markelov
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jake
        In the case of these Chrysler/Dodge vans you'd be traveling to Windsor Canada as that's where they are built along with the VW Routan. If you're getting an American truck, you'll probably need to head to Mexico lol. BMW? They will send you to their plant in Alabama!
          imoore
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Dmitriy Markelov
          BMW's in South Carolina. Alabama has Mercedes, Hyundai and Honda.
          imoore
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Dmitriy Markelov
          BMW's in South Carolina. Alabama has Mercedes, Hyundai and Honda.
      marv.shocker
      • 8 Months Ago
      What the frack?
      Rodger
      • 8 Months Ago
      Warren Buffet gave Obama lots of $$$$$$$ campaign money, Warren Buffet owns lots of Burlington Northern railroad stock $$$$$$$$ Keystone pipeline would mean no more need to ship oil by train tank car....Get it?
        Spec
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Rodger
        Warren Buffett has own railroads for decades and he's been a Democrat for decades. This is just a coincidence. The fight against the pipeline has been from environmentalists not Warren Buffet. He was rich before this issue and he'll continue to be rich no matter how they decide this issue. But at least there is some logic to this conspiracy theory. So many of them make no sense at all.
      Terry Actill
      • 8 Months Ago
      Let the crappy minivans sit until they rust. No pipeline. NO PIPELINE. Get off oil and get with it USA.
      marv.shocker
      • 8 Months Ago
      What the frack?
      Beardinals
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm soooo glad we have all these oil reserves and a new boom. You wouldn't know it by the way gas has gone up almost a buck a gallon around here. WTF!
        Spec
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Beardinals
        There is a very simple thing to know about all this shale oil fracking and much of the tar sands . . . their production has exploded BECAUSE of the high oil prices. If the oil prices magically dropped to $30/barrel, the drilling in North Dakota would stop. It is too expensive to do all that horizontal drilling and fracking for shale wells that deplete fast unless you have high oil prices.
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