Unrest in Egypt affects Mid-South freight industry - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Unrest in Egypt affects Mid-South freight industry

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Experts say the civil unrest in Egypt is affecting some of the Mid-South's biggest businesses.

As massive demonstrations and protests continue in Egypt, Dr. Martin Lipinski of the Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute at the University of Memphis is keeping a close eye on things here at home.

"We study the movement of freight, how it affects the region and how it affects the global economy," Lipinski said Tuesday.

Whether it's by river, rail or runway, Lipinski says the unrest in Egypt could affect the Memphis economy as trade flow through the Suez Canal is disrupted.  Shippers have been warning about delays after operations at Egypt's ports were suspended.

"The longer goods are in transit, transit costs are incurred," he said. "Things were on a supply chain that moved very efficiently. Once you interrupt that supply chain, you're going to have the ripple affect that's going

Even FedEx has felt the impact of the turmoil in Egypt, according to a statement released Tuesday:

"Due to ongoing social unrest in Egypt, FedEx Express has suspended services across the country until further notice. FedEx facilities at Paris Charles De Gaulle, London Heathrow and Dubai International airports are holding any shipments going to Egypt until further notice. We are closely monitoring this situation and we will resume services as soon as possible. We'd like to thank our customers for their understanding in this matter."

"They say America's distribution center is Memphis," Lipinski said. "We are a quadra modal hub."

According to Lipinski, one out of every six jobs in the Memphis economy is connected to the freight industry.

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