The massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan has pushed down the price of oil today and may affect traffic at the West Coast intermodal ports.
Ocean shipments going in and out of Japan, including those going through U.S. West Coast ports, have come to a standstill. The quake could disrupt shipments of Japanese vehicles to the U.S., which some trucking operations haul to dealers. Longer term, the disaster may translate into more shipments headed toward Japan as the country rebuilds from this disaster.
Meanwhile, truckers along some West Coast routes today are reportedly running into additional traffic congestion following a tsunami warning that was issued earlier, causing people to evacuate some coastal areas The Port of Los Angeles has suspended the transfer of hazardous materials at the facility, but normal cargo operations have not been affected. A similar move was made at the Port of San Francisco.