Port terminals, trucking docks, major highways, rail lines, airports and warehouses remain closed in Houston and other Gulf ports.
The U.S. Coast Guard has stopped ship traffic at Corpus Christi, Freeport, Galveston and Houston until navigation aids and port channels can be checked. The Coast Guard is also limiting vessel operations at the ports of Beaumont, Lake Charles, Orange, and Port Arthur.
It is expected that spot trucking rates will spike for the next several weeks after the high water recedes and traffic starts to flow. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 saw annualized trucking rates increase an average rate of 7 percent, and in 2014 when a mid-winter storm hit, spot rates increased by 22 percent year-over-year.
Freight and transportation demand will be high when it starts to flow, with inbound shipments of water, food, building materials and home furnishings adding to the volume.
Fuel costs are expected to rise. A heavy concentration of U.S. oil refining capacity exists in the Gulf Coast region, with the refining and petrochemical plants along the Houston Ship Channel closed at this time. Approximately 15 percent of the U.S. fuel producing capacity has been affected by the shutdowns. The Environmental Protection Agency has loosened gasoline specifications to reduce shortages.
Drayage rates are expected to spike when the port terminals, railroads and highways open as companies will want to move their goods as the free time begins to expire.
Trucking companies have suspended operations in the region, with terminal operations affected in Dallas, Fort Worth and Laredo.
Container lines have been diverting cargo to other ports. Maersk has said they hope to work the ship Maersk Ohio (TA1 service) and the Maersk Denver (MECU service) on Wednesday in Houston if labor is available.
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