Rail Strike Could Ruin Holiday Celebrations By Increasing Costs Across the Alcohol Marketplace

Nov 22, 2022
Washington, D.C.
America’s Family-Owned Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Could Incur $138 Million Loss Per Week

WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/22/2022 – A new study by John Dunham and Associates estimates that a rail strike could drastically increase costs across the alcohol marketplace and further exacerbate supply chain disruptions, dampening holiday plans for many Americans. The analysis shows that America’s family-owned wine and spirits wholesalers could stand to lose an average of $138 million per week if a rail strike were to occur, as well as create further adverse economic impacts for the restaurants, bars, hotels and other retailers who receive licensed products from them. The study further found that a strike could have a profound impact on the wider wine and spirits industry, leading to a loss of over 1,000 full-time jobs and more than $5.17 million in lost wages and benefits before the holiday season.


“America’s wine and spirits wholesalers, who move and deliver product to retailers in every community in the country, are concerned about how a strike will impact consumers' holiday plans,” said Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) President & CEO Francis Creighton. “Having massive amounts of freight move from the rails to our highways will strain the entire economy, increasing costs for our members by $138 million per week, driving up costs for consumers during the most important time of year for the hospitality industry.”


In late October, WSWA joined over 300 national and state organizations representing a multitude of industries in writing a letter urging the Biden administration and Congress to continue working with railroad unions and railroads to ensure an agreement is met to avoid the devastating impact a shutdown would have on the U.S. economy. America’s wine and spirits distributors support the leadership of the Presidential Emergency Board and encourage all parties' continued, direct participation in further negotiations.


About Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America

WSWA is the national trade association representing the distribution tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has more than 380 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States. 


To learn more, please visit www.wswa.org or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.