Monday’s news on Hurricane Ida and its impact on various sectors of the freight industry from reports by the FreightWaves reporters and market experts. This file will be updated throughout the day as more news comes in, so please check back.
10:22 a.m. ET: Kansas City Southern suspends operations, interchanges
KCS (NYSE: KSU) suspended mainline operations and interchanges from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well as Gulfport/Hattiesburg, Mississippi, because of excessive rain and wind caused by Hurricane Ida. Once KCS reopens its lines in these areas, it will send out another update.
The railroad said it is continuing to monitor the storm’s projected path and potential impact on the rest of KCS’ network. “Until the water has receded sufficiently, maintenance cannot yet begin. Crews are on location and will begin making the necessary assessments and repairs once the all clear has been received,” KCS said.
Meanwhile, Norfolk Southern said Sunday that its New Orleans intermodal facility would be closed Monday. The facility is expected to resume normal operations on Tuesday, and NS will provide updates as conditions change. “Customers with shipments arriving or departing from the New Orleans facility should expect delays of at least 24 hours”, NS (NYSE: NSC) said. — Joanna Marsh
9:30 a.m. ET: Soybean shippers expect export impact
Soybean shippers are bracing for potential export impacts stemming from Hurricane Ida. The lower Mississippi River is “by far the largest export region” for soybeans and corn, representing 61% of U.S. soybean exports and 58% of U.S. corn exports, according to Soy Transportation Coalition Executive Director Mike Steenhoek. As a result, “any lengthy disruption to export activity in this key region warrants our attention and concern,” he said Sunday.
According to Steenhoek, 464,138 metric tons (18.3 million bushels) of corn, 141,859 metric tons (5.2 million bushels) of soybeans, and 71,696 metric tons (2.6 million bushels) of wheat were exported from the terminals along the lower Mississippi River for the week ending Aug. 19. Also during that timeframe, 487 barges of grain were unloaded. — Joanna Marsh
8:06 a.m. ET: Spot rates on Atlanta-New Orleans lane
Spot rates on the Atlanta-New Olreans lane will surge as hurricane relief efforts tighten capacity in Atlanta, and saturate the New Orleans market.
Dry van rejection rates increased to 25.14% on the ATL-MSY lane ahead of Hurricane Ida, but inbound tender rejection rates have jumped to 39.72% for the New Orleans market.
Dry van outbound tender rejection rates jumped to 25.35% in New Orleans this past weekend as outbound freight volumes increased to 54.69 index points.
New Orleans shippers extended tender lead times to 3.21 days as spot rates climbed in the market the last few days as capacity tightened before the impact of Hurricane Ida. – Zach Strickland
8 a.m. ET: Expect capacity to tighten across the nation
The damage from a Category 4 hurricane could bring widespread destruction from winds, flooding and tornadoes, which will tighten capacity all across the nation from relief efforts on both the state and federal levels. Companies large and small will be hauling water, ice, food, medical supplies, generators, wood, roofing materials, MREs, cots, etc. into the areas in and around the New Orleans market. Thousands of loads will be picked up out of the FEMA warehouses in the Dallas and Atlanta markets, and supplies from military bases across the South and East Coast. — Zach Strickland