Lloyd’s latest briefing on Superstorm Sandy, today, confirmed that it was still very early to assess the extent of the damage. In the update, it was reiterated that insured loss figures ranged from $10 to $25 billion, with $70 billion of economic losses being the most recent figure released. Whilst the Port of New York has suffered the greatest physical damage, reporting that the minimum surge throughout its properties was 4 ft, ports across the US have suffered from overcapacity as ships and their cargo were redirected. The port of Virginia has had over 600 containers stuck for two days as it fails to cope with the increased traffic. It will be some time before the Port of New York regains full operating status and therefore the pressure on other ports looks likely to continue.
No further update on the cost to the automobile industry was given, which stands at an estimated $3 billion of damage, and the estimate of $650 million of losses by BoatUS, the major insurer of pleasure boats, still stands for the moment.
It is likely that restricted trade in numerous goods will continue for some time before and after Christmas, during what for many companies is their busiest trading period. The largest liquor distributor in New Jersey, Fedway Associates Inc., was decimated by 10 ft storm surges after its offices, delivery trucks and warehouses were crippled by the storm. Employees are working around the clock to resume normal trading before the end of the year.
There has been a resurfacing of discussions of constructing storm barriers along the coastline of New York city and New Jersey, at an estimated cost of $10 billion, however it is unlikely that a decision on this will be taken quickly.