Ida disrupts freight movement after making landfall as Category 4 hurricane

Tropical storm Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday, has shuttered ports, halted rail operations and could have long-term effects on manufacturing and supplies in the region.

The Port of New Orleans cargo operations are closed Monday, including container and breakbulk terminals. Flood gates and rail operations are also closed. Norfolk Southern terminals in New Orleans are closed, it said in a Sunday service alert. "Customers with shipments destined to or through this affected area should expect delays up to 48 - 72 hours," the railroad said.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued an emergency declaration for Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas for trucks and drivers transporting emergency supplies, fuel and persons in the states.

Over the weekend, Ida barreled toward Louisiana with 150 mph winds that led to storm surges and flooding. The storm knocked out the power in New Orleans, leaving the city operating on generators. At least one person was killed.

Rescue and relief efforts are underway, but the damage to infrastructure and impact on business could be long term. For example, when Superstorm Sandy hit the shores of New York and New Jersey in 2012, the port's Red Hook Container Terminal didn't receive cargo for eight days. And repairing damaged berths, fuel pumps, transformers, underground infrastructure, computer systems, trucks, cranes and other infrastructure took even longer.

The location where Ida hit is home to several oil refineries and petrochemical plants — an industry that faced weather-related disruptions earlier this year due to winter storms in Texas.

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Source: Supply Chain Dive

BDP International will share updates as Ida continues moving throughout the Southeast US and beyond. Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your local BDP representative.