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Hurricane Ian set to disrupt US supply chains

Delays and cancellations are expected as Florida prepares for Hurricane Ian, and ocean ports and airports pause operations

Businesses in Florida have this week been readying themselves for the arrival of category 4 storm Hurricane Ian. With experts predicting severe disruption to the region, knock-on effects are expected to stretch beyond Florida into the wider US supply chain as the Tampa-to-Orlando corridor (home to a multitude of retail and ecommerce distributors) faces flooding, power outages and disrupted road, ocean, rail and air infrastructure.

With over 4,500 production centres, factories, and warehouses in the predicted storm path, there is a projected $20bn in revenue at risk, whilst wider reaching effects such as truck and equipment shortages could stretch beyond the region as they are used towards recovery efforts.

Road

Interstates 4 and 75 are likely to be the worst hit major highways, with some haulage firms stating that they will halt movement until the conditions are deemed safe.

Ocean

A handful of Florida’s major ports have already ceased operations in order to prepare for the storms, with some vessels evacuating in order to find safety at sea. Tampa Bay and Seaport Manatee have paused operations entirely, whilst the ports of Miami and Everglades have stopped accepting inbound shipments. Savannah, Georgia, Charleston and South Carolina are currently operating as normal but monitoring the situation closely.

Rail

Rail freight operators are yet to make any definitive changes, however, similar to some of the ocean ports will be monitoring the weather patterns closely.

Air

Similarly to the ocean port of Tampa Bay, Tampa International Airport also ceased operations on Tuesday in preparation for Hurricane Ian’s arrival. Some flights have been cancelled or delayed at Miami and other Florida airports and operators have stated there are likely to be 2-day drayage delays due to weather and traffic challenges in the area.

As the situation is rapidly changing, we will keep this page updated with the latest information.

If you have any questions about your North American shipments, please contact our team here.

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