U.S. Southeast ports dodged the worse of Hurricane Dorian as it passed through the region. All ports south of North Carolina were reopened as Dorian was moving away from the mid-Atlantic states, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The ports of Wilmington, North Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia remain closed as of Friday, Sept. 6. They are expected to reopen Saturday, according to a customer advisory from Maersk.
It has been a busy Friday and will be a busy weekend at the ports as a number of container ships that had sought shelter outside of the storm plan to berth.
Hapag-Lloyd said four container ships in THE Alliance arrived at the port of Savannah on Friday. Another five are expected to dock Saturday through Monday.
Five THE Alliance ships are expected to dock in Jacksonville Friday through Monday, with one vessel, Northern Magnum, diverting to Port Everglades.
Maersk said six ships in the 2M Alliance were expected to call on Savannah, subject to reopening date. Another two vessels are scheduled to call on SSA’s Blount Island terminal.
The South Carolina Ports Authority said Charleston will resume vessel operations at Wando Welch and North Charleston Terminal Friday evening. Inland Port Dillion will reopen Saturday.
Three 2M Alliance are scheduled to call on Charleston on Saturday along with two CMA CGM vessels. THE Alliance has 5 vessels expected to berth there from Friday through Wednesday, Sept. 11.
To the north, the port of Wilmington is expected to start receiving a THE Alliance vessel on Sunday, Sept. 8 and another on Wednesday. Norfolk is expected to receive seven THE Alliance vessels from Sept. 9 through Sept. 12.
“The impact of the storm on U.S. east coast ports is less than expected and almost all terminals should reopen prior to next Monday,” Maersk said in a statement. “Berth congestion might be expected early next week but we will keep working on the best option to keep supply chains moving.”
While the impact to U.S. east coast ports is less than expected, the same cannot be said for the Bahamas. Maersk said the Freeport Container Terminal is expected to be reopened on Monday, Sept. 9. But it has no electricity for gantry cranes and there is a worker shortage. “As a result, only vessels that have self-sustaining gear (cranes onboard) will be able to call the port,” Maersk said.
Seven 2M Alliance vessels were scheduled to call on Freeport, with three of those opting for Kingston, Jamaica.