Louisiana Floods Causes Shipping Delays

Shippers moving intermodal rail and truckload shipments through southeastern Louisiana have to struggle with shipment delays as severe flooding slows the rail and road network in the region for the third time this year.

Louisiana is under a state of emergency after heavy rainfall inundated the region Friday.

According to the Journal of Commerce, the crisis has challenged the transportation sector in the region, which is served from the north by Kansas City Southern Railway and from the west by BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad.

The over-the-road sector, though, has been hit the hardest. The floodwaters have damaged multiple truck terminals in the area and made it difficult, if not impossible, for drivers and other industry workers to leave their homes, much less go to work. And even if drivers can reach terminals and hubs, floodwaters have taken out roadways, limiting where and how far they can travel.

Neither BNSF nor UP have posted any advisories online regarding service in the region and, according to KCS, the flooding has not taken out any of its main lines.

KCS spokeswoman Doniele Carlson said service may nevertheless be impacted as local industry trains in the Baton Rouge area were affected over the weekend.

Moreover, “KCS is warning customers that service in the region may slow as railway employees are forced to deal with the state of emergency,” Carlson said.

This is the third time this year that severe flooding has hit the Gulf Coast. Twice before, in March and June, torrential rain and dangerously high floodwaters forced KCS to declare force majeure and suspend service on main lines in the region.

Please be guided accordingly. RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates once available.