A map from NOAA showing the trajectory of hurricane Beryl and its predicted strength over time.

Hurricane Beryl to Disrupt Mexico and US Gulf Trade

Image from NOAA

Hurricane Beryl is set to hit Mexico’s Eastern Coast as early as this Thursday, likely disrupting the country’s supply chains and major trade flows along the US Gulf ports. This is the second time this year a major weather event impacts Mexico, after tropical storm Alberto hit the coastal states of Veracruz and Tamaulipas and traversed as far as the northern state of Nuevo León.

According to the National Hurricane Center at NOAA, Hurricane Beryl is likely to impact the easternmost points in Mexico around 8 pm on Thursday, making its way across the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. By 2 am, the hurricane is expected to enter the mainland of the Yucatan peninsula which it will cross entirely by Friday morning.

Hurricane Beryl’s Predicted Path

A map showing the predicted path of hurricane Beryl across the Gulf of Mexico and the expected times it will hit different areas.

(Image from NOAA)

However, Beryl’s real threat to North America lies in its current trajectory. Once the hurricane leaves the Yucatán peninsula, it will advance in a northwest direction, heading for Mexico and the US’ Gulf Coast. The hurricane is set to impact the states of Veracruz and Tamaulipas Saturday night before dissipating further inland on Sunday.

At the time of writing, it is expected that Beryl will hit Mexico as a category 2 hurricane, having lost most of its force after hitting Jamaica. Thus far, reports indicate that at least nine people in the Caribbean have died due to the hurricane and infrastructure across the region has suffered from considerable damages.

In the past at Auba, we estimated that every hurricane that hits North America could result in damages of up to 172.4 thousand TEUs per day of impact. Now, we looked more closely at the case of Beryl to better understand its potential impact in Mexico and the US.

For Mexico, we estimate that eight cargo and container ports located along Mexico’s East Coast are likely to suffer major disruptions from the hurricane. In total, using numbers from our State of Ports report, we estimate that these eight ports handle 4,453.54 TEUs per day. This is equivalent to roughly 30% of Mexico’s daily cargo handling capacity when considering all of the nation’s ports.

Cargo from Ports in Mexico Impacted by Hurricane Beryl

A pie chart showing the share of Mexican ports likely to suffer from disruptions from hurricane Beryl.

(Data from Auba State of North AmericanPorts Report)

If we expand our considerations to include ports in the US gulf coast likely to suffer disruptions, we find that the total containers impacted by Hurricane Beryl can be as many as 27,899 TEUs per day. In turn, if we consider that hurricane beryl could cause disruptions ranging from three to five days to ports in the region, the total impact to North American trade will likely range between 83,696.11 TEUs and 139,493.52 TEUs. That’s the equivalent to losing six days worth of cargo management at the port of Los Angeles—the busiest in North America.

Potential Impact of Hurricane Beryl in North American Trade

A bar graph showing the expected impact of hurricane Beryl to North American trade according to the number of days it disrupts ports in the region

(Data from Auba State of North AmericanPorts Report)

The real impact from hurricane Beryl remains to be seen both in imports to the region and exports to the rest of the world. However, these early numbers do suggest worrisome signs for North America, as hurricanes become more common and, with them, supply chain disruptions grow evermore present in the region. North American ports should take the needed precautions to avoid further damages from Hurricane Beryl in the coming days.