A crack in the Hernando DeSoto bridge over I-40 in Memphis has brought cargo challenges as travel both over and under to a halt as the Tennessee Department of Transportation inspects the danger and plans repairs. More than 700 barges are stuck in the river, pending the ability to cross safely under the forty-eight-year-old bridge. Discovered in one of the steel supports underneath the crack runs the length of the bridge.
In 2020, the forty-eight-year-old bridge carried an average of 35,000 vehicles per day across the Mississippi River -more than 10,000 of which were trucks.
With the ocean and air markets being shaken by rising rates and falling capacity, a river and road delay is the last disaster forwarders want to see. These cargo challenges are dreadfully reminiscent of the Suez Canal blockage that captivated the world last month when the Ever Given was stuck in the canal at a narrow point. That stoppage cost shippers weeks of supply chain trouble, further upset the container and equipment imbalances and will cost the insurance company a $600 million dollar fee by the Egyptian government.
Officials from TDOT don’t have an expected timetable for fixing and reopening the bridge but many think the bridge will be repaired over the weekend and next week, keeping the impact to transportation as minimal as possible. Southeastern ports can expect to catch the overflow from the delays as many southern ports, including the Port of New Orleans, handles traffic over a period of time.
If you have barge-bound cargo that is stuck waiting for the bridge to reopen, Edward J. Zarach & Associates has expedited cargo options to cover you during the interim. We can move critical amounts of cargo by air to make sure your inventory is covered through the delays coming from the bridge closure. Reach out to your representative today to see how we can help!