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Trucking Industry Braces for Hurricane Harvey Aftermath

FTR Transportation Intelligence Reports on Hurricane Harvey Impact

Aside from the obvious impact of Hurricane Harvey to local trucking operations in the Gulf region, FTR is predicting an industry wide effect on the US trucking industry nearing 10% nationwide, in the first few weeks following Hurricane Harvey’s devastating assault on Texas. For an industry already operating at maximum capacity, which FTR describes as “the tight trucking environment”, Harvey is delivering a very unwelcome one-two punch.

Refineries Down, Fuel Costs Up

The storm centered around Houston and cut a sweeping path across eastern Texas, a region which supplies 30% of domestic refining capacity. Rising fuel costs can be expected until full refining operations are restored in the Gulf region. Exxon Mobil and Phillips 66 are two of the refining giants who’ve had to shut down in the aftermath of Harvey.

Congestion on the Docks and Rails

Idle trucks waiting for floodwaters to recede will leave many loads stranded on the docks. This congestion will only increase as incoming construction and flood relief shipments begin to arrive. Houston is a major intermodal center so railroad freight will also be feeling the ripple effects of the trucking slow down, as trucks provide the “last mile link” from rail yard to final destination.

Truckers Take Action

Truckers have never been the profession to stand by and take it on the chin in times of natural disaster. As always, they are keeping up their noble tradition by stepping up to haul FEMA loads, or volunteering with the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN). Details are available at this link to for those interested in joining the relief effort.