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Hurricane Sandy poses ongoing challenge for logistics managers

Seaports stretching from Baltimore to Boston remain closed to containerized traffic indefinitely
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
October 30, 2012

While the full impact from Hurricane Sandy on the nation’s supply chains has yet to be measured, preliminary reports suggest it will be substantial.

According to, a live online flight-tracking service. Most airports in the New York City area (JFK/LGA/EWR/ACY/GON/HVN/ISP/MMU/TEB) are closed with no known re-open time.

“It is unlikely there will be scheduled flight operations to/from NYC today and some airlines have begun canceling flights on Wednesday,” stated a release. The NYC airports are planning to start publishing re-open estimates mid-day today.

Spokesmen added that they are still assessing the impact of closed airports and thousands of flight cancellations on cargo operations throughout the region.

Brandon Fried, executive director of the Washington D.C.-based Airforwarders Association, was circumspect in his evaluation of the situation, noting that his constituents are “known for their resilience and creativity” in solving complex transportation challenges.

“Right now, our primary concern is the safety and welfare of our member employees and their families at this time,” he told LM in an interview.

Meanwhile, seaports stretching from Baltimore to Boston remain closed to containerized traffic indefinitely. The Port of New York/New Jersey – the largest East Coast ocean cargo gateway – was shut down early Monday in anticipation of the storm. It is not yet known if vessel operators will redeploy carriers to ports in the southeast or gulf.

Surface transport leaders are also reporting disruption.

Both CSX and Norfolk Southern alerted shippers that it would be at least three days before normal operations would be restored. YRC Worldwide and other major motor carriers have also suspended service, while 3PLs and deconsolidation centers are remaining idle.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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