Northeastern US ports closed ahead of Tropical Storm Henri, threatening to further disrupt shipping supply chains
- Tropical Storm Henri forced the closure of ports in Southeastern New England.
- The expected gale force winds make vessel movements and waterfront operations dangerous, the Coast Guard said.
- Shipping companies are still suffering from delays linked to the pandemic and the blockade of the Suez Canal earlier this year.
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Ports in southeast New England have been closed by the US Coast Guard ahead of high winds and heavy rains that will hit the region as Tropical Storm Henri passes through on Sunday.
The ports of Narragansett Bay, Mount Hope Bay, Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod Bay, Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound are currently under Hurricane ZULU, meaning the ports are closed due to high winds and no ships are cleared in or out, the Coast Guard said in a statement on Saturday night.
Previously, the ports were in the YANKEE condition, which means that a tropical or hurricane-force storm is expected to make landfall at the port within 24 hours.
Henri, and his ensuing port closures, come at a time when a recent increase in shipping costs is slowing the global supply chain and causing massive shortages of goods.
The pandemic severely damaged supply chains last year, and things were only made worse by the blockade of the Suez Canal earlier this year.
A large maritime alliance cut travel between Asia and Europe by up to 22% in the spring of 2020, Insider reported. Between Asia and North America, carriers have reduced their capacity by around 20%.
In 2012, after Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, the U.S. Coast Guard reported $ 70 billion in damage to more than 180 ports in the region. It takes months to recover.