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American logistics companies brace for Florence supply chain disruptions

Tracking Hurricane Florence, impact on Pittsburgh area | WPXI

 

While Hurricane Florence appears to have weakened overnight to a Category 2 storm, it has maintained its vast size and slowed its forward momentum this morning, making the risk of serious supply chain  disruption even worse as it makes landfall later today in the Carolinas, bringing expected storm surges topping 10 feet along with rain totals of more than 20 inches over a wide area of the mid-Atlantic coast (see map at right).

With this storm, rising floodwaters are expected to do more harm to East Coast logistics than the expected 90 to 100 mph winds forecast for tonight. Image result for American logistics companies brace for Florence supply chain disruptionsMost coastal areas have been evacuated as residents move inland to higher ground, and more than 1,000 flights have been cancelled at airports in the region, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL) and Charlotte Douglas International (CLT). Road-feeder services are also expected to be crippled by flooded highways.

According to a Bloomberg report, more than 4,000 manufacturing and distribution facilities in the region may be halted through the weekend, including pharmaceutical plants, chemical factories, retail stores, auto retailers, steel plants and hundreds of warehouses. Boeing said on Monday that it will close its North Charleston facility, which assembles its 787 widebody aircraft, until the storm passes.

DHL Express said it is “monitoring the potential impact” of the storm, adding that local DHL pickup and delivery services will be suspended in certain areas. Operations at several airports may also be adversely affected by flooding and road closures through the weekend.

Updates from both UPS and FedEx today listed thousands of towns and cities in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia that will have suspended service shortly after the storm makes landfall.

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