Closure of I-40 Bridge and Coastal Shipping Delays Could Affect You

30% of the traffic crossing the I-40 Hernando de Soto Bridge in Memphis is commercial trucks.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee – The closer the I-40 Hernando de Soto Bridge is closed, the greater the supply chain problem, logistics experts said.

It’s not only affecting the way things move across the country and in our region, but experts said it could end up impacting your bottom line.

Every day the Hernando de Soto Bridge is closed, it is estimated that it costs the trucking industry $ 2.4 million per day in additional transit time.

“The traffic is very slow but it is what it is,” says truck driver Charles Lowery.

While the closure of the bridge makes it difficult for long-haul trucks, logistics experts have said it is the local truckers who are feeling the real pain.

For example, at the Union Pacific Railroad plant in Marion, Arkansas, every day products arrive by train from the West Coast. But moving it from the facility is the problem, experts said.

Local drivers previously made several trips each day to pick up and drop off containers. Now that only one of the two bridges across the Mississippi is open, they can’t take that many trips.

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Daniel Booth is President of the Memphis World Trade Club, a professional organization for those involved in international trade.

“If they double their time to pick up the Marion Ramp and bring it back to the Memphis area, they’re essentially reducing their volume and their income,” Booth said.

Logistics experts said this resulted in missed appointment times for train pick-up and drop-off as truckers have to take alternative routes or cannot make as many trips. Which means that the expedition may need to be booked.

In addition to imports to Memphis, this is also expected to have an effect on export bookings from Memphis.

So what does all of this mean to you?

“I’m sure most of your viewers can see that there are currently a lot of different shortages of many products and materials, and that will only cause more delays – and some that will cause prices to increase,” he said. Booth said.

Due to the problems moving goods inland from the West Coast and bottlenecks in the system, freight costs have skyrocketed, Booth said.

Booth said it cost $ 2,500 to ship a container from China to Memphis two years ago. Now it can range from $ 15,000 to $ 20,000.

Booth said the additional cost associated with the bridge issue is small compared to the costs associated with importing overseas.

Mallory Alexander, an international logistics group, issued a press release on its website, saying that closing the bridge is causing supply chain disruption.

Booth is hoping the Hernando de Soto Bridge will reopen as soon as possible, and hopes this situation will be resolved – one way or another.

“One thing that I have no doubts about is the logistics community of Memphis as a whole. There are a lot of brilliant people and we are going to get by – working together,” he said.

Union Pacific issued a statement saying: “The closure of the I-40 bridge in Memphis created travel complications for our train crews being transported to and from their trains at our terminal in Marion. We do everything possible to help our teams overcome traffic delays, while ensuring that the closure of the bridge does not affect our customers or our train traffic. ”

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