by | Sep 8, 2017 | Markets, Trade Data

Preparations are underway at ports in the projected path of Hurricane Irma, expected as of Friday morning to move up the Florida Keys and hit the continental U.S. near Miami this weekend.

The ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are closed – the Coast Guard’s Condition Zulu. The Port of Miami, ranked 11th by import volumes among U.S. ports, started to move toward closure, setting Condition X-Ray on Thursday, September 7, with plans to move to Zulu / port closure on Friday, September 8, at 8 pm US ET. Port Everglades is also set to close Friday evening.

Further north, along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts, Florida’s ports are proceeding with preparations for Hurricane Irma.

The Port of Savannah, the fourth-ranked U.S. port for imports, is at Condition Whiskey

Condition Whiskey signals gale force winds are possible within 72 hours. Vessels must decide whether they mean to leave or remain in port. If they want to remain, they must apply to the Coast Guard for permission. Condition X-Ray signals impact within 48 hours; condition Yankee, hurricane landfall within 12 hours. Condition Zulu means hurricane landfall is expected within 12 hours, the port is closed and operations suspended.

As with the Texas and Louisiana ports still in recovery from Hurricane Harvey, the ports of the southeast play an important, albeit different, role as conduits for U.S. oil flows, as this map from U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) illustrates:

Hurricane Irma: Florida petroleum ports and pipelines at risk

Our trade data provides a measure of the trade that is about to be disrupted. Here, for example, are the top 5 maritime imports and exports at the Port of Miami:

Hurricane Irma: Miami Maritime Imports-Exports 1H17

We’re also including the data on Miami’s top products in trade via its air hubs:

Hurricane Irma: Miami's top airborne imports-exports at risk

Note that Miami is a leading port for U.S. trade in gold. In first-half 2017, it ranked first among U.S. ports, taking airborne delivery of $1.73 billion in gold, 32.3% of total U.S. gold imports. Miami ranked No. 4 among export ports (behind New York, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City) shipping $1.03 billion in gold exports in the same period.

Miami airports are also the top point of entry for U.S. imports of cut flowers (HS0603). In first-half 2017, Miami accounted for 81.32% of all imported flower deliveries.

Descartes Datamyne will be keeping a close watch on Hurricane Irma and its impact on trade. We encourage you to bookmark this page to check for periodic updates.

Update 09-11-2017: As of late September 10, the Coast Guard had set Port Condition Zulu: Closed for these Florida ports: Port Everglades, Miami, Port of Palm Beach, Tampa, Port Manatee, Port of Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, all ports in sector Key West, Panama City, and the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway (mm 205- mm 375).  Pensacola was at Port Condition Yankee: Open with restrictions.

In addition: Mobile, AL, and Pacagoula, MS, were set at Port Condition X-Ray: Open with restrictions. Savannah, GA, was at Port Condition Zulu: Closed. Charleston, SC, was at Port Condition X-Ray: Open with restrictions.

In Puerto Rico, Guayama was open with restrictions. All other ports were open with no restrictions. In the U.S. Virgin Islands: Christiansted, St. Croix; Cruz Bay, St. John; and Redhook, St. Thomas have opened with restrictions. All other ports remained closed.

Update 09-15-2017: These ports are open with no restrictions: Port Everglades (as of 09-12), Miami (09-13) and Port of Palm Beach (09-13). Open with restrictions: Tampa (condition set 09/14), Port Manatee (09/12). Open without restrictions: Port of Jacksonville (09/13), Port Canaveral (09/14).

All ports in the Key West sector remained closed.

Ports that had conditions of readiness set (i.e., Whiskey, X-Ray, Yankee) are open and at Port Status Normal, including Pensacola FL, Panama City FL, Mobile AL, Pacagoula MS, as well as the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway.

In Puerto Rico, Guayama was open with restrictions. All other ports were open with no restrictions.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands: Christiansted, St. Croix; Cruz Bay, St. John; and Redhook, St. Thomas are open with restrictions. Open with no restrictions: on St. Thomas: Charlotte Amalie Harbor, Crowley Terminal, Crown Bay Terminal, Virgin Island Port Authority, Sandfill terminal, and Tropical Shipping Terminal; on St. Croix: Limetree Bay and Krause Lagoon. All other ports are closed.

We are preparing for Hurricane Irma too …

Our Miami office is closed from Thursday, September 7th through Monday, September 11th to ensure the safety of our staff and their families in light of Hurricane Irma’s impending landfall. Every measure has been taken to ensure Descartes Datamyne will remain available and online during the storm’s impact, though there is potential for some degradation in support and customers may experience a delay in service levels due to limited technical resources during the storm. Should you need assistance during this time, please CONTACT US or call us at (612) 435-2191

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