Harvey trounces Texas; trucking

HOUSTON, TX – Hurricane Harvey is hitting hard, taking up to 10% of the trucking industry with it, reports FTR Intelligence.

The category four storm made landfall in Texas, northeast of Corpus Christi, Friday night, bringing with it rain and winds of up to 209 kilometers per hour (130 miles per hour).

Houston is under water, and recent reports from officials have the death toll at eight, after a family of six was found drowned in their vehicle on Monday.

The storm continues to cause damage all along the Gulf Coast with residents evacuating eastern coastal cities, and road closures due to flooding and damage, affecting those as far to the west as San Antonio, and the north as far as Waco. Louisiana travelers have also been cautioned, as they are experiencing heavy rain and winds.

With congestion, idle trucks waiting for flood waters to recede, and trucks being dispatched to bring supplies to the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations, FTR says preliminary numbers have the industry impacted by 10% during the first week of the storm.

That number jumps to 100% for the Gulf Coast region West of the Mississippi River.

Refinery outages in the region are choking off up to 10% of the refining capacity for the United States, causing an expected rise of up to USD$0.25 per gallon for gasoline this week. National diesel prices are also expected to go higher as shortages crop up.

FTR predicts the effects will be still present, but significantly less a month from now, with a national impact of two percent, and a regional impact of 25%.

The forecasting company says that with an existing labor shortage in the trucking environment, the extra impact could see loads left on the dock and transportation managers scrambling.

Spot rates are also expected to jump, with higher rates in Texas and the South-Central region of the U.S. Noël Perry, Partner at FTR, said a five percent increase over already high spot prices wouldn’t be a surprise.

It is still raining in Houston, with more than 127 centimeters (50 inches) of rain expected by the time the storm is over at the end of the week.

If you would like to donate to help those in Texas, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a one-time $10 donation, or go online at redcross.org.

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