2020 Tropical Storm Season Outlook

After weeks of being shut down due to COVID-19, companies are now beginning to resume operations but are still challenged from the pandemic

Based on the history of tropical storm activity, the top three major ports with the highest risk are Port of Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Port of Hong Kong (China), and the Port of Shenzhen (China), while in the U.S. the port with the highest risk is Port of New Orleans. The top five major airports with the highest risk, based on tropical storm activity and freight volumes, are Hong Kong, Shanghai Pudong, Incheon, Taiwan, and Tokyo Narita. The report also identifies other key airports at high risk along the Atlantic including Miami, Charleston, and Dallas/Fort Worth as well as Mumbai and Kolkata along the Indian Ocean.

Data indicates that in the event of an approaching tropical storm, ports in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the U.S. usually suspend cargo operations for an average of 9 days while the ports in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean normally close for an average of 1-3 days and 1-2 days respectively. This report examines the manufacturing impact of such closures in the regions and the significance of the transportation hubs for industrial clusters.

The current pandemic has added more strain to cargo movement: Port productivity has slowed down due to lack of workforce availability amid government restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, while air freight movement has been heavily impacted by the global travel ban that has reduced the overall freight capacity in the market. As the tropical storm season approaches, organizations faced with balancing the impact of oncoming storms while attempting to maintain efforts to contain COVID-19 will need to prioritize resources and develop contingency plans in advance.

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