Hurricane Ian is due to touch down on the U.S. coast sometime later this afternoon, and though the storm is slated to hit Southern Florida, the effects of the storm are sure to be felt across the country. Ian, which has been upgraded to a category 5 hurricane, is projected to move through the Tampa Bay area; over 2,800 manufacturing firms in automotive components, heavy machinery, chemicals and plastics, as well as about 7,000 health care producers in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics and other fields, will be affected by strong winds, flooding, and power outages. Experts are predicting severe supply chain disruptions from Ian, which will directly affect freight movement through major port, airport, highway and rail nodes. Everstream Analytics, an analytic group dedicated to risk scores and insights regarding the world’s supply chain system, said the sector facing the biggest harm is agriculture, as harvest season starts in early November. High winds and floods can cause unsalvageable harm to crops, which will in turn cause truckers to see less business if there are less crops to transport. This alone will exacerbate high food prices and inflation.
Several ports and their container terminals have already either closed or stopped inbound traffic in efforts to reduce the risk of harm to goods and workers. These include Port Tampa Bay and Seaport Manatee, both of which handle large quantities of steel, fertilizer and other non-containerized goods. Port Tampa Bay specializes in imports of food and beverage products, as well as fuel. Other ports, such as Port of Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, have issues advisories for tropical storms later this week. As for air cargo, Tampa International Airport has shut down, in addition to the Orlando International Airport. Hurricane Ian, in combination with Typhoon Noru, which is currently upsetting supply chains in Southeast Asia, are anticipated to catalyze a next string of supply disruptions. An Article published by American Shipper dives further into the details regarding the hurricane’s path, as well as the freight transport constraints.
To read the article, click here.