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Shipping During a Hurricane

Top view of a cyclone

We’ve had our fair share of hurricanes lately and it’s been rough. Our hearts are with those affected and still recovering. We want to answer a question about what happens to shipping during a hurricane – particularly maritime shipping. Is your cargo safe during a hurricane?

Planes, Trains, and Large Shipping Vessels

Planes can re-route around a hurricane easily because we have early warning, can track a hurricane, and planes are fast enough to easily re-route. Trains and trucks can be moved out of an area, and your cargo re-routed as we do this. There’s enough extra transport capacity to do this.

Yet maritime shipping is more deliberate and can’t always re-route quickly. This is why hurricane tracking is so important. We can plan ahead – sometimes days at a time – because agencies like the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. can predict the path of hurricanes with reasonable accuracy. There are times when we can re-route ships without delay, and times when we have to afford an extra day or two because of a hurricane.

Information Sharing

During natural disasters like this, shipping companies share information. It’s not a time for competition when lives are at stake. This allows shipping companies both large and small to plan ahead of time, and it helps ships look out for each other.

Sticking here in the U.S. as an example, the Coast Guard will often close ports during hurricanes. It’s dangerous for ships to be in harbor – they can run up against docks and pilings, causing damage to both the ship and the harbor itself. Large commercial vessels are safer at sea. They can go around the storm while riding out waves they couldn’t ride out in harbor.

Tracking and Re-Routing

We realize your schedule and your cargo may not be at the top of your mind when a natural disaster strikes, but we do everything we can in every transport medium to make sure it’s kept safe. You’ll be able to track any delays due to natural disaster and, often, we can find alternate routes and modes of transport to ensure those delays are mitigated.

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