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Wild weather grips most of the country — Midday Market Update

Snow, ice and bitter cold reach from Texas Gulf Coast to Northeast

The Southern Plains are preparing for a second wave of winter weather as millions of people from Missouri to Southern Texas are experiencing rolling blackouts from the first storm. Interstates have been closed due to freezing rain and inches of snow while Texas struggles to keep up with electricity demand during its coldest snap in decades. 

A second winter storm is forecast to roll through the same region in the next two days, dropping more snow and ice and keeping temperatures dangerously low, even in the Deep South. 

FreightWaves market expert Zach Strickland reports on the effects that storm has had on the market, sending tender rejections back over 22%. Strickland said the Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, St. Louis and Cleveland markets were some of the hardest hit. 

Drone delivery is getting closer to reality, which could possibly be good news for those stuck at home due to future bad weather; Israeli drone company Flytrex is testing small-item drone delivery in North Carolina with hopes to cash in on competitive but highly valued industry. 

The maritime shipping sector is also becoming highly valued and is gaining the attention of venture capital managers, according to FreightWaves Senior Editor Greg Miller. Miller reports the industry needs to do the work to digitize its practices, but the future is bright in the ocean shipping space. 

Lower-income nations are set to receive COVID-19 vaccines thanks to partnerships between UNICEF and more than a dozen airlines. FreightWaves Air Cargo Editor Eric Kulisch reports deliveries will begin toward the end of the first quarter, but that the WHO needs an additional $26 billion in donations to support the vaccine distribution. 

Patrick Maher, vice president of business development at Gulf Winds International, joins the show to discuss how Houston is holding up through the historic cold and if the Port of Houston is being affected by the weather. He says gulf ports are not quite as congested as the West Coast, but the weather may have a hand in increasing delays. 

FreightWaves contributor and CNBC Senior Editor of Guests Lori Ann LaRocco makes an appearance to give an update on that West Coast port congestion and her investigation into the issues plaguing U.S. agriculture exports. LaRocco published another piece of her investigation on American Shipper last week.

 You can find more Midday Market Update episodes and recaps for all our live podcasts here.

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The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes Gulf Winds International (No. 135).

Kaylee Nix

Kaylee Nix is a meteorologist and reporter for FreightWaves. She joined the company in November of 2020 after spending two years as a broadcast meteorologist for a local television channel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kaylee graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2018 and immediately made the Tennessee Valley her home. Kaylee creates written summaries of FreightWaves live podcasts and cultivates the social media for FreightWaves TV.