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Hurricane Ian Also Deals A Battering To U.S. Supply Chain

North Port, Florida, after Hurricane Ian

Besides billions in property damage and an uncertain death toll, Hurricane Ian has also dealt at least a temporary blow to the U.S. supply chain, with major ports in Florida and elsewhere in the Southeast damaged or shut down as a precaution.

Port Tampa Bay, for example, which handles fuel mostly sent by barge from refining centers on the Gulf Coast, as well as other bulk cargo, remains closed. Jacksonville's port, Jaxport, the state’s largest commercial cargo port, has also suspended operations.

"Jaxport remains closed ... while the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville completes its post-storm assessment of the Port of Jacksonville’s waterways," the Jacksonville Port Authority said in a statement on Friday.

“Major cargo carriers are experiencing widespread delays across their networks,” Everstream Analytics Chief Meteorologist Jon Davis told Bloomberg.

More specifically, Davis said, Ian has impacted automotive, agriculture, textile and industrial hubs in northern Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, "spelling further supply-chain headaches for major producers.” 

As Ian heads north, the Southeast's largest container port in Savannah, Georgia, was allowing anchored ships to leave for safer locations, but closed to new arrivals, Bloomberg reported. South Carolina’s Port of Charleston was set to suspend its marine terminal operations as of Friday.

Meanwhile, on the South China Sea, Typhoon Noru similarly upset supply chains in Southeast Asia when it struck the Philippines and Vietnam a few days before Ian hit Florida, American Shipper reports.