Today’s Pickup: Florence keeps flooding North Carolina

(Photo: NASA)

Good day,

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical depression and is losing wind strength, but continues to dump large amounts of rain on North Carolina. At least sixteen people have been killed so far, and rivers, streets, and and buildings are still flooding. Florence is more than a hundred miles southwest of Roanoke, Virginia, and is moving toward the southern Appalachian mountains.

Meteorologists are calling for two to five inches of additional rainfall throughout North Carolina today, with up to eight inches in localized areas. Flooding in North Carolina is so severe that the NC DOT is advising people not to travel in or through the state at all. Several sections of I-95 and I-40 are flooded, and “travel should be completely avoided in areas south of US 64 and east of I-73/I-74,” the NCDOT wrote. 

Did you know?

Truckers avoided areas of North Carolina affected by Hurricane Florence last week: Raleigh’s inbound rejections jumped from 15.9% on Monday (9/10) to 39.92% on Friday (9/14). 


“We expect to add 8,000 seasonal jobs before November, a significant increase over last year’s holiday hiring. Our modern warehouses are filled with automation that is an attractive choice for workers and helps us to be as productive as possible for our customers.”

-Troy Cooper, President of XPO Logistics.

In other news:

Walmart finally makes it to the Big Apple

Walmart’s e-commerce business,, is leasing a 205,000-square-foot warehouse in the Bronx that will soon begin supplying MacBooks and organic eggs to New York’s well-heeled shoppers. The physical presence is a victory for the nation’s largest retailer, which has faced resistance from labor groups and their political allies every time it has proposed opening a store in the five boroughs. (New York Times)

Digital marketplace Freightos gains $45 million in new funding round

Digital freight-booking marketplace Freightos has raised nearly $45 million in a Series C funding round to expand its technology and geographic reach and develop financial instruments for the container shipping business. (Wall Street Journal)

UK economy will shrink without Brexit deal, IMF warns

Britain’s economy will shrink if it leaves the European Union without a Brexit deal and it will suffer some damage whatever terms it agrees, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday, challenging the promises of some Brexit supporters. (Reuters)

Global seaborne coal trade grows 4% in January-August

Global coal shipments grew by 3.8% – or by 30.6m tonnes – during the first eight months of the year to 835.5m tonnes, shipbroker Arrow said on Friday, citing vessel tracking data. (Hellenic Shipping News)

Musk says he’s left one hell for another: delivering Teslas

“We’ve gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell,” Musk said in a tweet as he apologized to a woman who said her new Tesla had been delayed yet again. (Bloomberg)

Final Thoughts:

Bloomberg has just reported that President Trump wants to levy an additional 10% tariff on $200B worth of Chinese imports, less than half the 25% rate the administration was originally considering. China, for its part, has warned that it will not be content to stay on the defensive in the escalating trade war, but will retaliate against American businesses with both increased duties and regulatory scrutiny.

Hammer down everyone!


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John Paul Hampstead, Associate Editor

John Paul writes about current events and economics, especially politics, finance, and commodities, and holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan. In previous lives John Paul studied Shakespeare in London and Buddhism in India, but now he focuses on transportation and logistics in the heart of Freight Alley--Chattanooga. He spends his free time with his wife and daughter herding cats, collecting books, and walking alongside the Tennessee River.