South Florida’s customs brokers and freight forwarders avoided a potentially devastating hit from Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 2 and 3.
“For South Florida, it appears that it will be spared from major weather, although outer bands may provide some strong winds and rain throughout the day,” the Miami-based Florida Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association said in a statement.
Gabriel Rodriguez, president of Doral, Fla.-based A Customs Brokerage and the Florida Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association, reopened his office Sept. 3. “We’re getting everything uncovered and turned back on. We’re catching up from the downtime,” he said.
He called the hurricane preparations late last week “a good exercise,” since the hurricane season doesn’t end until Nov. 30. “We still have some time to go,” Rodriguez said.
For the rest of Sept. 3, the Florida East Coast from Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville remains under a hurricane watch/warning by the National Weather Service.
Miami International Airport is operating, and the Coast Guard has given Port Everglades and PortMiami permission to reopen for business.
Customs and Border Protection has its Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircraft and crews from Tucson, Detroit and Puerto Rico staged at the Miami Air and Marine Branch. AMO also has prepositioned personnel and assets at several locations across the U.S. Southeast.
Rodriguez said he is sympathetic to the people of the Bahamas who took the brunt of the slow-moving hurricane, which had sustained winds of more than 100 mph on Sept. 2. “We feel for them,” he said.
The storm is expected to track north along the Southeast coastline for the next two days as it moves farther out to sea.
“First and foremost, we want all our members to heed the warnings and evacuate or otherwise take precautions and stay safe as the hurricane passes through their respective areas,” said Amy Magnus, president of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA).
“NCBFAA will help support our brokerage colleagues and the overall trade community who need our assistance during this time,” she added. “We hope this storm passes with minimum damage and disruption to our industry.”