Grim outlook: 12/14/98 USDA on Y2K Assessment of Transport Sectors Affecting U.S. Food Supply : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

-- ejj (, February 14, 1999


Hotlink here:


-- Why2K? (, February 14, 1999.

A grim assessment, indeed. What concerns me the most are the railroads. Relatively fancy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables we can live without for a while, but if the grain stops moving... Short of a total 9 or 10, I'll wager that we'll see the railroads in some form of operating condition, but the only things they'll be transporting will be grain and fuel.

-- Why2K? (, February 14, 1999.

I bet you'll also see troops and refugees being moved by train.

-- nine (, February 14, 1999.

Very interesting chart, but I have a few questions. Barges, I think I agree with. But trucking? Aren't these huge trucking cos very date dependent? Did they consider possible fuel shortages? And they're only at a 2! <:(=

-- Sysman (, February 14, 1999.

Sorta boils down to ... Got more than awareness? Got e-chips? Got fuel?

... Container ships themselves are vulnerable to Y2K problems because of the more sophisticated computer systems that assist in navigation, propulsion, stabilization, and other necessary functions which are totally apart from the cargo they carry. One estimate puts automated or semiautomated functions of a ship at more than 1,000 per ship.

...  But, of the 80,000 merchant vessels in service today, one "loose" estimate is that only 80 percent of vessels will be compliant by January 1, 2000. In addition, the Global Positioning System's time cycle is due to "roll over" on August 21, 1999, and ship navigation systems will be affected. Some shipping companies are considering keeping even Y2K-compliant vessels in open seas or "laid up" during critical dates.

Think, oil spill. As in Oregon or Alaska. *Sigh*

... The Coast Guard has also initiated an "outreach" program to all ships entering U.S. ports and in mid-1999 will not allow ships which are not Y2K compliant to enter U.S. waters. Of all merchant ships, container vessels and the ocean shipping companies which operate them have the best chance of being Y2K compliant.

And how does the Coast Guard determine compliancy, one wonders? A piece of paper?

Good one, ejj.

Although I must say that URL bothered me ... Y2K/ also (Drafted December 14, 1998). Although backing up the URL does take you to a USDA white page, trying to get to it from the white page doesnt work.

Can you show that link directly coming off either the USDA, AMS, T&M or SEA (not found) web pages? Or is this a not really posted draft? How did you get it?


-- Diane J. Squire (, February 14, 1999.

Don't have to wait until 12/1999. Already happening. Coast Guard will probably ban the ships sooner rather than later. Environmental cost too high to allow more accidents.

Oregon Oil Slick thread

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx

-- Leska (, February 14, 1999.

Very good find, thanks. Like Diane, I was concerned about the source of the URL and tried, unsuccessfully, to access it through the USDA's site. Anymore information about where this came from, ejj?

-- Wanda (, February 14, 1999.

At the very end of the page cited, whose authenticity is questioned here, this appears:
(Questions or comments regarding this analysis should be directed to Jim Caron, Transportation and Marketing, AMS/USDA, 202-690-1304/fax 690-1340, or Internet:

It works for me.

-- Tom Carey (, February 15, 1999.


I don't question the authenticity of the page. I am, however, more than curious about the URL. It seems that it cannot be linked to from any of the sites referenced. Also, I don't find any pages coming from the USDA's site that have this sort of an URL. If ejj can provide any information about how such un-linked .gov pages can be located, it would be appreciated.

-- Wanda (, February 15, 1999.

Well, the author has a hold of a piece of the elephant. One thing struck me, however. It was the following statement:

Again, as with assessments from FAS overseas posts, this analysis is done without the benefit of large-scale surveys or data from the firms in question. The U.S. Department of Transportation is currently undertaking a Y2K survey of the major transportation modes, but its analysis will not be completed for several months.

To me, the author is saying that this is no more than an educated guess.

Somewhere else in the USDA, someone is doing a similar analysis of the effect of potential fuel shortages, while a third is analyzing the possible effect of embedded chip malfunctions.........

And they will never meet to put together a total picture. Maybe no one will put them together into a bigger picture.

A great piece of detective work. Thanks.

-- Jon Williamson (, February 15, 1999.

Sorry for the delay in getting back to everyone about the source URL--family outing-- The page in question does link directly from the USDA homepage. Try this. Go to: then scroll to the absolute bottom of the page and click on the icon that is a black box with the letters Y2K in it. This brings you to: which is Koskinen's food supply working group under USDA auspices. On the right side of this page, at the top, click on the first item: The Y2K Challenge (The URL for that page is e.html) then, when the challenge page comes up, click on the 10th item down in the list at right: Y2K Assessment of Transport Sectors Affecting U.S. Food Supply FYI, there is a lot of info on some of these pages that I haven't even looked at. Hope some of you have some time to eyeball it. Good surfing. And sorry, but I don't know how to post hot links. ejj

-- ejj (, February 15, 1999.

Thanks, ejj, for the pointers. When you go to the page through the USDA site, the URL for the page you posted is: You're right, there is a ton of "stuff" there which looks interesting.

-- Wanda (, February 16, 1999.

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