Hurricane Irma has brought much devastation with its wake upon the majority of cities in the US. With its destruction affecting the majority of access roads across the land, there is an imminent threat of increased costs in all major necessities due to the fact that the cost for transporting these goods will surely go to a hike, including shipping rates.
The transportation industry has yet to recover from the damages brought upon by hurricane Harvey and with the arrival of Hurricane Irma, the effects still being felt from Harvey’s impact is expected to dramatically increase if not double. It was projected that even though the effects of these storms would be considerably decreasing in rate, the long term effects on the traffic build up on the Southeast area will directly affect the difficulty experienced by the supply chain industry.
According to a number analysts, the recent aftermath of Hurricane Harvey together and the ongoing ravishing of Irma, shipping schedules are more than sure to tighten all throughout the season, with ongoing repercussions until the first quarter of next year. With the intensity of Hurricane Irma continuously developing, it is almost a certainty that damages to roads and infrastructures are going to be as high, if not more than of Hurricane Harvey’s.
Way back in 2005, an Indiana based FTR had conducted a study with the extent of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina to the lines of trucking services. Shipment delays as well as the high casualty on operating equipment had defined significant pricing effects that have been felt in the concluding three months after Katrina. A 22 percent year-after-year price increase in services has been evident five months after the ruthless winter storm in 2014.
And because of the extensive impacts of the said hurricane, these has been the direct effects to the trucking industry:
- The top priority of deliveries were relief and construction supplies. It has been far more difficult to secure a spot in the containers for other commodities that are not of basic necessity
- The delivery time frame of various shipments have more than doubled, and there was reduced productivity because of supply chain demands that were out of cycle.
- Additional delays were experienced because trucks have to wait for the water to recede from various affected roads and loading docks.
- Heavily congested roads, highways, and access points have added risks and delays to the delivery chain, making the time frame of the planning and delivery of any shipment very unpredictable.
Harvey’s impact is said to be longer lasting, with its effects being felt in the form of increase in shipping contract rates that are long term.
Last Friday, the ports of Miami and Everglades in Florida has closed due to the effects of Hurricane Irma. Savannah and Jacksonville’s ports were still operational last Friday, but was forced to cease in its operations the next day. In lieu of this, trucking analysts anticipates the continuous widespread disruption of the industry due to Hurricane Irma’s bearing on the Eastern Seaboard.
The weight of these two recent hurricanes have leveled their weight on the traffic of trucking industries. More so if it will continue and hit North Carolina or Georgia, the reason being two of the major national distributors are Charlotte and Atlanta.
While the industry is still salvaging its efforts to recover from the blow given by Hurricane Harvey, the prices of truckloads continues to increase, especially truckloads headed towards Houston, while the population of trucks that are able to do the necessary deliveries shrank. Even though the number of actual loads shrank by more than ten percent because of the absence of deliveries that are coming from Houston, the overall price rates have already shot up five percent nationwide and still rising. This also resulted in repercussions on secondary routes all around as the market equilibrium continuously shifts. An example of this is that of Chicago to Denver price rates that have jumped from $2.50 per mile to $2.71 per mile. DAT reports that rates have risen in various states including California, Atlanta, and Charlotte.
It is also notable that major facilities in the affected areas are still shut down and some though operational, have started limiting their operations. One of the solution that local providers have gone to is by re-sourcing national clients just to establish their continuous service. And because of the vast after effects, pickups and deliveries in areas like Corpus Christi, Houston and Beaumont has been cancelled. The United States Coast Guard announces that the traffic of vessels going in and out from Galveston, Houston, Freeport, Texas City, and Corpus Christi will only reopen once all access channels are a hundred percent safe.
Two of Houston’s major airports which are Hobby and Bush intercontinental have fully stopped operation because there was flooding on nearby roads. At the city’s south side which hosts Hobby, access roads have been reported to be submerged in four feet underwater. Alongside this, the three major railroads that have serviced the Houston area namely BNSF, Union Jack, and Kansas City Southern, announced that they would suspend their operations in the Houston area.
Fortunately, in the majority of natural disasters in depth with this caliber, one of the most potent way of transporting supplies to the population that has been hit by this calamity is via truck deliveries. Even though the trucking industry has shown signs of heavy struggle due to the recent turn of events, they are continuously stepping up to the plate and offering their much needed services. Because most situation dictates the improbability of other medium of delivery penetrating the area, the truck’s capacity to maneuver over rough road conditions and any large obstacles have made them the most viable option with regards to relief operations and delivery.
In these types of situations, the state, local, and federal government maximizes its efforts to work hand in hand with the transportation industry in giving assistance to the public when it is most needed. It is true that these Hurricane proposes a very unique story, but the same formula applies to any natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, and others. The keen perseverance of the human spirit to overcome and obstacle, and rebuild for its future.
Having any trouble with freight trucking? FAR Transportation services can help you. Feel free to give them a call at 800-657-8380.Posted by