Gulf of Mexico oil spill interrupting freight movement in Europe, Baltic region

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Kingston (Rhode Island), May 6 (ANI): The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and epic flooding in Tennessee has created a "perfect storm" for businesses that rely on an efficient supply chain, according to a University of Rhode Island professor.

In addition, the volcano in Iceland is causing unprecedented interruptions in the ability of businesses in Europe and the Baltic regions to ship goods via air transport, said Douglas Hales, associate professor of operations and supply chain management in URI's College of Business Administration.

"Seventy percent of the coffee shipped to the United States goes through the Port of New Orleans," Hales said, adding, "It's not easy to re-route these huge vessels."

"Traffic is still moving in and out of the Port of New Orleans because the heaviest slicks haven't reached there yet," Hales said.

"It's going to be over for recreational and commercial fishing within the next few weeks if the spill is not stopped," Hales said.

"Crude oil is like tar. The most efficient thing to do would be to burn the oil, since many of the dispersion agents in use are extremely toxic. It's either that, or let it spread to the beaches. Of course, a nasty cloud would be produced from the burning, which could also affect air quality and tourism throughout the Gulf," he added.

"I would estimate that three to five million dollars per day in freight operations have been lost because of closures on 24," Hales said. (ANI)

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