Local communities, government officials, and businesses are evaluating how to pick up the pieces as the rubble and debris left in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have settled in the wake of the destructive hurricanes.
Not only did initial damage dealt by the hurricanes hurt major metro areas of Florida and Texas but, flooding caused by both Hurricanes has also had a significant effect on major cities such as Houston and Jacksonville. There were civilian casualties, millions of people lost power, and many lost their homes and livelihood.
Transportation Industry Comes to the Rescue as Hurricanes Cause Billions in Damages to Texas and Florida
If you reside in the US then it is likely not news to you that oil prices have increased significantly as a response to these hurricanes. The primary reason behind this is that major refineries owned by Exxon, Valero, and Motiva were hit and forced to shut down due to flooding concerns. The refineries impacted are key components in oil production in Texas, with as much as 30% of US oil output coming from the state. The damage dealt has slowed down crude oil production. As responsible major oil producers have raised the price at the pump. It is being projected by Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs that this impact on oil could last the next couple of months depending on how long it takes to repair the damages in Houston.
The demand for flatbed drivers into Texas and Florida is at peak levels as flatbed shipping is needed to bring supplies into the states to relieve the people harmed by the effects of the Hurricanes. Rebuilding equipment and materials, oil, and basic necessities such as food, water, and clothing are in high demand. Carrier rates are expected to experience a hike due to the increased demand for flatbed hauling, and an already limited supply of drivers.
Carriers are also experiencing the effect of the Hurricanes as gas prices have skyrocketed, which will look to only further increase cost of flatbed shipments. It is also expected that freight shipping to other parts of the country will be impacted as the limited supply of drivers in the market will be concentrated on transporting goods into areas of Florida and Texas that are in desperate need. This will increase rates for shipping across the board in the short run as large networks of flatbed carriers will now be targeted to a select few areas. Shippers will have to pay that much more in order to attract drivers to their lanes in other parts of the country.
It is likely that this market impact will persist for the next couple of months as billions of dollars in repair are taken underway in the areas devastated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Communities, officials, and carriers must work in a cohesive unit in order to rebuild these regions and relieve the people of the Houston metro area and key areas of Florida like Key West and Jacksonville. More updates to come as developments arise.
By David Bansleben,