Arctic Conditions Shackle North American Shipping
Extreme cold conditions and a snap “bomb hurricane” snow storm have slowed the shipping supply chain across North America this week.
Sub zero temperatures have been caused by what is being called a bombogenesis: a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure in a period of 24 hours.
Winter storm Grayson—classified as a “bomb cyclone”—slammed the east coast on Thursday 4 January, engulfing many Mid-Atlantic and New England states in whiteout conditions.
It reached as far as southern states such as South Carolina and Georgia.
Port of New York and New Jersey announced they had been forced to close at 10:30 am on Thursday January 4 due to the extreme winter storm conditions affecting the states.
New York and New Jersey have experienced sub zero temperatures since Christmas, with temperatures dropping to -16 degrees celsius in New York.
Snow storm Grayson also caused 10 to 12 centimetres of snow which resulted in closed schools and offices on Thursday.
PLEASE BE ADVISED: All marine terminals have just reported they will close at 10:30 a.m. today, Thursday, 1/4/18 due to winter storm conditions. Please plan accordingly and put safety first. pic.twitter.com/QC3ArwcQkQ— Port of NY & NJ (@PortNYNJ) January 4, 2018
In Minnesota, shipping services across the Great Lakes have also slowed due to extreme cold, causing nine freighters on Lake Superior offshore from Duluth to remain anchored for several days as they wait to load iron ore pellets at Twin Ports and Two Harbors.
The rush to haul an estimated 1.5 million tons of iron ore pellets out of northern Minnesota in the last half-month of the shipping season stalled when the extreme cold hit the Midwest of the US.
Jim Sharrow, Director Port Planning and Resiliency, Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said: “There’s no way that is going to happen now.”