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Southeast Ports Shutting Down Ahead of Hurricane Irma

September 8, 2017

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In a move that will ripple through the supply chain, ports in the Southeast U.S. are shutting down ahead of Hurricane Irma.

As the Journal of Commerce reports, ports from Miami to Charleston are in the massive hurricane's projected path, many in mandatory evacuation zones, and are closing their gates.

In Florida, with reports of fuel shortages amidst the massive evacuation, fuel distribution is being expedited at all phases of delivery. The governor has arranged for military vessels to escort fuel ships to the docks and law enforcement escort of fuel trucks to stations. 

Motor carriers are being encouraged to continue moving as much freight as possible out of the Southeast before the storm hits, JOC reports. Several trucking companies told the paper that their capacity is spread thin, especially so soon after Hurricane Harvey, with equipment having been sent to the Gulf Coast for relief efforts.

Larry Gross, a senior transportation analyst at FTR, told JOC that if the damage is confined to South Florida, it won't be as bad as Hurricane Harvey shutting down the Houston ports was. But if the storm hits the ports of Jacksonville, Savannah, and Charleston, the orerall supply chain impact will be worse.

Florida and Georgia have both issued evacuation orders for areas east of I-95, where major ports are located, and an evacuation order in South Carolina is likely Saturday.

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