11 September 2017

Freight and Logistics Trade Devastated as Multiple Ports Closed by Hurricane Irma  

Shipping Liable to Major Disruption in the Region

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Shipping News Feature US – CARRIBEAN – Hurricane Irma, which caused chaos and devastation across the Caribbean last week made landfall onto the continental United States over the weekend and is wreaking massive disruption in the civil population and on the shipping of domestic and international freight. In terms of effects on logistics and the supply chain, in the US the following ports have been shut until further notice.

A number of other ports in Puerto Rico and the US Caribbean Territories are also only open on a restricted basis as are cruise ports such as St Croix and St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. . Any vessel and operators should monitor the US Coast Guards Homeport website to stay up to date on the current situation and discover when the ports will be reopened to traffic.

Irma is reported to be weakening as it moves across the Florida peninsula by the National Hurricane Centre (NHC), but this will in turn mean that freight shipments across the state will see major disruption due to infrastructure damage and evacuation of personnel.

In the Caribbean the full brunt of the fury of the storm was experienced and reports are that the destruction has been catastrophic. The Northern coast of Cuba and a number of islands received a severe pummelling from the weather and substantial external aid is being requested just to stabilise the situation for residents. The government of Antigua has described the neighbouring island of Barbuda as 'uninhabitable'. It is expected that, other than emergency food and supply shipments, all normal freight operations throughout the region, by sea and air, will be disrupted for a substantial period.

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