Following on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, Irma will once again test the supply chain on the US Southeast Coast, as well as the Gulf Coast. According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Irma, a classic Atlantic tropical storm, has sustained Category 5 cyclone status for nearly 2 days. It is the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin outside of the Caribbean Sea & Gulf of Mexico and it will bring with it strong winds of more than 180 mph, storm surge and potential flooding. If Irma makes landfall as predicted, it will set a new record; the US has never experienced two storms of this magnitude within one hurricane season.
As of Wednesday, the US Coast Guard notified the Port of Miami, Port of Everglades, the Port of Palm Beach in South Florida, as well as Port Canaveral, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Manatee, Jacksonville and Fernandina that port condition WHISKEY will go into effect. The condition was set due to the expected gale winds of 25pmh to 40mph arriving within next 72 hours. Commercial vessels and barges greater than 500 gross tons need to report to the US Coast Guard Captain at the port with their intention to depart or remain in port. Along with this, the Coast Guard has advised any vessels bound for any South Florida ports unable to depart in the next 24 hours prior to these winds making landfall that these vessels should seek alternate destinations, as vessels are already changing routes and schedules ahead of the storm.
This morning, port officials at Port of Miami advised that the port offices remain open while it continues to monitor the storm system. However, terminal gates at POMTOC and SFTC are closed while Seaboard Marine remains open, receiving containers only. Cargo users are asked to contact Port of Miami’s container terminals directly to check on schedules and closures: www.miamidade.gov/portmiami.
The Albatrans office in Miami will be closed today to allow employees to safely evacuate in anticipation of the storm and the NY headquarters office will be receiving all calls for Miami business.
We will continue to track and monitor Hurricane Irma’s arrival and the effects to all US Southeast ports. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have regarding specific containers/shipments.