Please note that Hurricane Florence is developing into what forecasters believe to be a catastrophic weather event for the US East Coast later this week. Hurricane Florence, currently a Category 3 hurricane, is forecasted to evolve into a dangerous Category 4 hurricane prior to US landfall. Category 4 hurricanes are both rare and deadly. The last Category 4 hurricane to hit the US East Coast was Hurricane Hugo (over $9.7 billion in damage) in 1989. At the time, Hugo was the most expensive storm to ever hit the US. The storm is currently expected to make landfall on or around Friday morning.
Please note that all shipping concerns and ports that are determined to be in harm’s way will be slowing operations and most likely closing as soon as tomorrow. Any ocean shipments moving in or out of US East Coast ports will likely be impacted by this storm. In addition, inland operations in North Carolina, Virginia and other potential states in the path of this storm will also likely be impacted with major flooding and severe power outages. Hurricanes are not completely predictable, but the consensus storm tracking guidance appears to be consistent across most computer models, showing landfall somewhere between Norfolk, VA to the North and Charleston, SC to the South (see below from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). RIM’s Corporate logistics center in Chicago, along with our offices in Atlanta and New York, will be working aggressively to move cargo and assets out of the storm’s primary impact zone. In addition, RIM’s Ocean Import and Export operational teams will continue to communicate with our customers to provide the most up-to-date information available.