Thursday, January 31, 2019

Severe US Weather Affects Ports, Freighter Flights, Truck and Train Services

Record Lows Mean Problems for Supply Chain
Shipping News Feature
US – The ending of the 35 day government shutdown probably came at an opportune time for many in the northern and mid-western United States where the effect of the polar vortex has caused temperatures to plummet. With the Port of Chicago seeing the thermometer plunge as low as -45 degrees Fahrenheit, and five degrees less in some areas, there were bound to be consequences for the supply chain and problems with logistics generally, and for those serving the community it is doubtless all hands to the pumps.

The roads alone have provided enough problems with multi vehicle pile ups of both cars and trucks causing delays, and in New York State travel bans have been imposed on tractor-trailers and buses on a series of highways as snow ploughs struggle to clear a path for traffic. The conditions have meant that it is impossible to run trains meaning that staff in Chicago have had to set fires on the tracks to thaw points out, as our picture shows.

Meanwhile hundreds of passenger and freighter flights have had to be cancelled and today’s forecast for the mid-west predicts that record low temperatures are likely in the next 24 hours. There is however literally a bright horizon with meteorological experts predicting a sharp rise in temperatures over the next few days.

Unfortunately the conditions, a result of the polar vortex sweeping further south than usual, has caused several deaths, whilst mail is not being delivered and schools remain closed. The cold has also produced one unforeseen effect. The Chicago Tribune reports that there has been a spate of thefts in the street in which thieves target wearers of ‘Canada Goose’ brand jackets, regularly seen adorning celebrities, prized fir their warmth, and retailing at over $1,000 each.