As contractors already are struggling with shipping delays, material shortages and rising costs, Hurricane Ida likely will make these struggles worse, according to The New York Times.
Additionally, the hurricane’s damage to critical industries in the Gulf Coast area and the urgent need to rebuild are expected to affect the U.S.’ already strained shipping infrastructure.
“The supply was already terrible,” said Eric Byer, president of the National Association of Chemical Distributors, a trade association representing companies that make and sell raw materials used in various industries, including construction. “Now, it’s going to be worse.”
For months, a surge of trade from Asia to the U.S. has exhausted the supply of shipping containers, forcing buyers to pay 10 times the usual rate on popular routes, such as Shanghai to Los Angeles. Loading and unloading at ports has been affected as dockworkers have contracted COVID-19 or had to quarantine. The pandemic also has sidelined truck drivers, limiting the availability of vehicles that can carry products from ports to warehouses to customers.
Available trucks now will be diverted to deliver relief supplies toward communities affected by Hurricane Ida, which is expected to make availability of necessary supplies even tighter.