UPDATE: Hurricane Florence

September 18, 2018

Hurricane Florence made landfall this past Friday morning near Wilmington, North Carolina. Through Monday morning, the storm dropped record amounts of rain across the Carolinas and parts of Virginia. To all the Coyote employees, customers, and carriers in the affected areas: we hope you, your families, your communities and your businesses remain safe and out of harm’s way.

Less severe than anticipated, but massive flooding persists

Fortunately, by the time Hurricane Florence reached the east coast, windspeed had slowed and the storm was downgraded from a Category 4 hurricane to a Category 1. As a result, the Carolinas avoided some of the catastrophic structural damage associated with sustained +100 mph winds.

However, Florence dumped record amounts of rain throughout the weekend and into Monday.

Source: weather.com

Current Situation

Florence was downgraded to a tropical depression early Monday and rainfall in the Carolinas began to subside. Though the rain has mostly stopped falling in the Carolinas, please be advised that the danger is not necessarily over. As water flows into rivers and creeks, they may continue to rise and crest. Several dams and levees are also at risk of being breached. According to news outlets, the threat of additional flooding throughout the Carolinas will persist into Wednesday. As a result, the full assessment of the infrastructure damage and impact to shipping will be difficult to gauge until later in the week.

Power outages and road closures are prevalent throughout the region, though some shipping facilities started coming back online mid-Monday.

Looking forward

Tropical depression Florence is making its way into the north east. Though the storm’s severity has been significantly reduced, expect potential shipping disruptions throughout the region.

Insofar, disaster relief shipping has been relatively muted, but expect that to change as power is restored, flooding subsides, roads open and an accurate assessment of damages can be made.  

Though the full picture is as of yet unclear, the aftermath of Florence is unlikely to have the nationwide ripple effect of last year’s back-to-back hurricanes (Harvey and Irma). Regardless, shippers should anticipate a disruption of inbound and outbound shipping patterns, limited capacity, and inflated costs in the coming weeks.

  • Facilities in NC, SC and VA may experience a backlog of outbound freight on their docks from facility closures. Shippers may source from somewhere else if they can, otherwise they will have to wait until things are back in motion.
  • Shippers with freight inbound to facilities in NC, SC and VA could be backlogged from facility and road closures. This will disrupt sales and supply chain movement if shippers outside the impacted areas have excess product with nowhere to send it.
  • Transportation providers may struggle to meet supply demand due to unavailable equipment, drivers and/or lanes.
  • Demand for disaster relief freight is anticipated to spike. Relief efforts will likely come from PA & NJ, which could create a short-term rate-hike in affected lanes.
  • Carries might migrate from other areas of the country to meet heightened demand, creating supply dislocations in regions that were not directly impacted by the storm.

If you live or work in one of the states that has already declared an emergency, please continue to carefully monitor weather and news updates. Detailed updates from the National Weather Service can be found by clicking here.

Across all modes, Coyote will strive to meet your emergency needs. If you have questions about a critical supply load, please contact your rep or call 877-6-COYOTE.

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