If you're planning on buying a new car in the next month or so, you might want to pick from what's on the lot, because there could be a long wait for new vehicles from the factory. Locomotives continue to be in short supply in North America, and that's causing major delays for automakers trying to move assembled cars.

According to The Detroit News, there are about 180,000 new vehicles waiting to be transported by rail in North America at the moment. In a normal year, it would be about 69,000. The complications have been industry-wide. Toyota, General Motors, Honda and Ford all reported experiencing some delays, and Chrysler recently had hundreds of minivans sitting on the Detroit waterfront waiting to be shipped out.

The problem is twofold for automakers. First, the fracking boom in the Bakken oil field in the Plains and Canada is monopolizing many locomotives. Second, the long, harsh winter is still causing major delays in freight train travel. The bad weather forced trains to slow down and carry less weight, which caused a backup of goods to transport. The auto companies resorted to moving some vehicles by truck, which was a less efficient but necessary option.

Now, things are finally starting to improve. The weather is warming, and the freight industry is putting more trains on the rails. According to The Detroit News, shipments will finally get back on track to normal in early July. That will give automakers a few months reprieve before the snow will begin falling again.


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  • 42 Comments
      Arcturus
      • 8 Months Ago
      It's not just cars that are affected. Canada's having severe issues shipping wheat and that's probably just the tip of the iceberg.
      lrx301
      • 8 Months Ago
      I thought the train in picture derailed. More and more twists in the titles, Congrats, AB!
      zzzzzz
      • 8 Months Ago
      This is not a new problem. I custom ordered a Mustang four years ago. It was built within 10 days of placing the order, but sat in Flat Rock for several months before the stars aligned and a train car was available to carry it 500 miles to its destination.
        ابوذر ڀرڳڙي
        • 8 Months Ago
        @zzzzzz
        Why didn't you just go pick it up?
          0c04b745@opayq.com
          • 8 Months Ago
          @ابوذر ڀرڳڙي
          That's not the way the system works. I few years ago I bought a new vehicle. The dealer found a match to what I was looking for (color, options, etc) sitting in the shipping yard at the factory, which is only about 25 miles away. I could not pick it up at the factory, nor could the dealer have it shipped directly to the dealership. All they could do is reserve it in the system, then we had to wait until its batch of new vehicles was shipped from the factory to the worldwide distribution center in Chicago, which is about 400 miles away. It was then processed through the distribution system, batched with other vehicles coming to this area, and shipped to the dealer. Total time: about three weeks to receive a vehicle that was already built and sitting in a big-assed holding lot just 25 miles from here.
          Mike Pulsifer
          • 8 Months Ago
          @ابوذر ڀرڳڙي
          American manufacturers aren't smart enough to have a brand caché-building program like BMW and Mercedes has (picking up the car at the factory).
      Revis Goodworth
      • 8 Months Ago
      Keystone pipeline would have helped as well. Wonder how many in big transportation are making a killing off the President's positions on this!
        churchmotor
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        Follow the money. Tom Steyer, billionaire, pumping millions into democrat pockets to stop the pipeline.
          Jobu
          • 8 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          And don't forget Mr. Buffet owning the railroads.... Follow the money indeed...
          churchmotor
          • 8 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          And delsolo1, Canada will be shipping that oil to their west coast and selling to China if the pipeline is not built. Kinda makes your "theory" comical at best.
          knightrider_6
          • 8 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          Yes follow the money. Money given by the two traitors (Koch brothers) to GOP for killing America's middle class. Let's follow the money funneled by Chinese government to Karl Rove's SuperPAC.
          delsolo1
          • 8 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          churchmotar I think even a home schooled fifth grader would realize a pipeline across the American plains is would be far cheaper to construct than going over the Rockies in Canada.' Always wonder if a Koch pipeline spilling Koch oil will be cleaned up by Koch money. You probably believe Koch pipeline will reduce the price of gas....LOL!!! Tom Steyer donations is just a drop of oil in the bucket compared to Koch brothers, who are motivated by their greedy self interest. Why don't you just stick to the right wing media outlets like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh at the nursing home
          churchmotor
          • 8 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          http://s1179.photobucket.com/user/dpdoherty5/media/kochindustries_zps4fbd2c33.png.html
          churchmotor
          • 8 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          Interesting, knighrider doesn't have any comments about that huge list of Democrats ******* up Koch money.
        mitytitywhitey
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        It's most likely polluting more to avoid building the pipeline. Its just stubborn and illogical.
          delsolo1
          • 8 Months Ago
          @mitytitywhitey
          Hate to bust your bubble with facts but oil from the tar sands is more expensive to deliver and has a bigger environmental impact in extraction, with greenhouse gas emissions that are estimated to be about 20 percent greater than other oil sources.
        knightrider_6
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        @Revis "Wonder how many in big transportation are making a killing off the President's positions on this!" That's pretty good! Hundreds of thousands of new jobs being created in trucking industry.
      churchmotor
      • 8 Months Ago
      Obammy is going to kick and scream forever delaying the Keystone.
      knightrider_6
      • 8 Months Ago
      But this is 'Murica. We don't need that socialist, fuel efficient mode of transport. We don't even need more roads or bridges. We should instead invade another third world country and create democracy. And tax cuts for the rich
        New Shel
        • 8 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        We should dig canals and float the cars on a river of crude oil.
        churchmotor
        • 8 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Last time I checked, all the railroad companies in the USA were private enterprise, and profitable. Well, except the socialist Amtrak Government run failure that loses billions per year.
      Bernard
      • 8 Months Ago
      We need more rail capacity to get all of these heavy trucks off the road so I don't have to share my commute with these junkers.
        no1bondfan
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Bernard
        And more public mass transit, as well. Each person riding the train to work is one less person texting and driving 10 under in the left lane.
      Finklestein
      • 8 Months Ago
      Hundreds of Chrysler minivans stranded? This is actually great news.
        bjzq8
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Finklestein
        You'd be surprised at the legions of senior citizens going practically apoplectic at the prospect that their precious Dodge minivans won't be made anymore in a few years.
      jebibudala
      • 8 Months Ago
      I have a simple solution. The train engineers should just hammer down throttle and choo choo moth&#%( through any weather condition. They should also not stop at railroad crossings to look both ways anymore.
        CB
        • 8 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        I'm a freight train conductor. We run at whatever speed the track and/or cars are rated for. Typically 50 mph with lower restrictions for sharp curves, certain types of cars or loads and extended steep grades. Trains don't slow for weather conditions (unless flooding has water over the rail.) Trains don't stop at crossings. It takes over a mile for many trains to stop. Stopping at crossings would be retarded.
      Roscoe
      • 8 Months Ago
      Oooohh, big surprise. The Canadian government is selling out our national rail system to the foreign interests that own oil/gas production in Alberta. What else is new?
        churchmotor
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Roscoe
        The USA is a foreign interests as far as Canada is concerned.
      SpikedLemon
      • 8 Months Ago
      Why are they building such stock? ... Are most of these vehicles spoken for and people are just on waiting lists? I'm confounded why the manufacturer didn't temper production to align with ability to transport (sell). It sounds like an odd waste of resources/money to have these vehicles (money) lying around with added potential of damage (vermin, weather, etc...) on their watch rather than the individual dealerships.
      churchmotor
      • 8 Months Ago
      Odd how knighrider thinks shipping oil by train is safer than a permanent pipeline. Guess all that koch addiction of his has affected his thinking.
        charles
        • 8 Months Ago
        @churchmotor
        Shipping by train is worse than dangerous.A pipe line would create jobs,and lessen the spill factor.
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