Hurricane Harvey Interrupts Lives and Shipping Routes
At The News Wheel, our thoughts and prayers are with the people on the Gulf Coast suffering through the flooding and damage brought by Hurricane Harvey (now a tropical storm). The damage in Texas and Louisiana is extensive and it will take a long time for the flood waters to recede and offer the opportunity for recovery. Not only does this take a toll on the people that call this region home, but it will also cause disruptions nationwide in the automotive supply chain.
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Port Houston handled more than 86,000 vehicle imports last year and it remains shut along with the busy Port of Galveston.* Besides assembled cars, the Gulf Coast is a major port of entry for parts for assemblies in the Deep South and elsewhere in North America. At this time, it is unknown when these thoroughfares will be fully operational again, as it is not just about if the flooding has receded, but if the staff can navigate roads to return to work.
Even if vehicles and parts can get off of the ships they come in on, it will be very difficult to move them further inland. Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific railroads have restricted and suspended service throughout the area with several reports of tracks being washed out. Trucks also cannot roll quite yet because of flooded and washed out roads in the region.
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In times like this, the first priority is to make sure that people are accounted for and as safe as possible. It is understandable, then, that it might be a while before operations return to any semblance of normal at the ports, rails, and roadways. If you live away from the storm and face vehicle delays or short stock on dealership lots, we urge you to be understanding and patient.
News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)
*News reports at this time state that Port Houston plans on opening on Friday, September 1st.