Hurricane Irene Supply Chain Roundup
With billions of dollars worth of damage done, Hurricane Irene did its worst to batter the major metropolitan areas of the East Coast, but what are some of the supply chain impacts?
Below are some of the major supply chain implications surrounding one of the worst hurricanes to hit the eastern seaboard in recorded history.
- As of Monday, more than 12,000 flights have been cancelled, with airports in Washington D.C., New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Boston seeing the bulk of the cancellations.
HURRICANE IRENE FOOTAGE FROM THE BAHAMAS
- Delta Airlines cancelled 13 percent of its system-wide flight schedule between Saturday and Monday, with US Airways, American Airlines, United Airlines and JetBlue Airways seeing major disruption as well.
- Air freight was disrupted throughout North America, but we won’t know more about Hurricane Irene’s damage there until later this week. Most airports had reopened as of Monday morning.
- Amtrak lines throughout the Northeast were stopped in anticipation of the storm, but commuter rail lines will likely be disrupted throughout this week as heavy flooding between Washington D.C. and Boston subsides.
- Specific commuter rail lines disrupted included DC’s Acela Express, Philadelphia’s SEPTA trains, New Jersey PATH trains (expected to resume at some point on Monday) and Long Island Railroad service.
SEE OTHER TOP STORIES ON THE SUPPLY CHAIN DIGITAL CONTENT NETWORK
- Interstate 95, a major, East Coast artery that runs along the Atlantic coast from Miami all the way up the coast to Washington DC, Baltimore, New York and Boston, is mostly clear at this point, which should have a minimal impact on freight trucking along the eastern seaboard.
IRENE MAKES LANDFALL IN NORTH CAROLINA
- The major road affected in the storm is the New York Thruway, which has a 100-mile northbound stretch closed upstate. Major cities that could be affected include Montreal, Syracuse and Albany.
- Sea ports were closed throughout the weekend in anticipation of the storm, with most container ships riding out the stormy conditions caused by Hurricane Irene at sea. Most major ports in areas like Boston, New York and Baltimore started reopening Sunday night.
Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal
Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn.
The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.
“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.
Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain
Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services.
The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.
Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding.
Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services.
“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron.
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added.
History of Uber Freight
Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany.
The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.