Fuel Shortage And Freight Brokers

US shippers in the Southeast face several additional days of truckload service disruption, with the potential for missed deliveries and pickups, as the region recovers from sporadic fuel shortages caused by the Colonial Pipeline shutdown. 

Fistfights and long queues have been reported at petrol stations in the south-eastern United States as people panic over a fuel shortage sparked by a cyber attack last week.

A ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline last week halted 2.5 million barrels per day of fuel shipments.

The pipeline stretches 8,850 kilometres from US Gulf Coast oil refineries to consumers in mid-Atlantic and south-eastern states.

The outage and resulting shortages of gasoline and diesel tightened already tight truckload capacity as the spring produce season ratcheted up truck demand across the South, compounding pressure on shippers and carriers already strapped by high volumes of freight arriving at ports such as Savannah and Charleston, as well as inland hubs such as Atlanta and Memphis.

Colonial Pipeline Co. said in an update on Wednesday that a restart of its system has been initiated: “Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal. Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period,” the company added. “Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.”

Shippers may have difficulty finding carriers and drivers willing to go to the Southeast while the fuel shortages persist.

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