Tropical Storm Hurricane Harvey has brought catastrophic and life-threatening floods to Texas. It continues to have a big effect on people and businesses near the South Texas coast. This impact includes the freight transportation industry which is currently experiencing major disruptions to include the following:
- Halted traffic due to flooded roadways and damaged infrastructure
- Suspended rail service
- Closures of regional shipping terminals and ports
- Chaotic supply chains due to extra shipments and lower productivity
When monumental disasters hit the country, transportation and supply chain networks echo the impacts for months afterward. We are predicting capacity impacts from Harvey to last through mid-October.
Hurricane Harvey Impacting Transportation
This is the largest storm to hit the United States in over a decade. Some forecasts are calling for as much as 60 inches of rain from Harvey. The largest effects will primarily be regionalized but the transportation impacts will be felt across the entire US.
With flooded infrastructure, power outages, building damage, and unsafe conditions, towns have shut down. The Texas Department of Transportation is reporting nearly 350 road locations currently affected by high water in the Houston area alone.
Regularly moving transportation will need to be rerouted and/or rescheduled. Since initial storms, trucks have been diverted and idle vehicles are waiting for water to recede from roads, yards, and loading docks.
Efforts will continue to take place and draw on resources long after flood waters recede and roads/rails/ports are reopened. People have been displaced from their homes and will live in recovery facilities for extended periods of time. Food and medical supplies will need to continually be replenished. Additionally, space will be needed to store building supplies and to dry out soaked materials. Warehouses and equipment will continue to be leveraged.
Big oil and gas companies such as Exxon Mobil and Valero Energy have evacuated workers and shut down facilities in preparation for the storm. The slow-moving nature of the storm is likely to cause longer shut-downs meaning less production.
These shutdowns are having an immediate impact on gasoline prices. The cost per gallon has jumped to a two-year high as of Monday 8/28/17. This means drivers and transportation companies should expect much higher prices at the pump.
Another major economic impact will be the property damage from the storm. This is longer lasting and more significant than lost economic activities. Homes and businesses without flood insurance should be expecting delays in rebuilding and coverage.
How Can Christoper Morgan Fulfillment Services Help?
WE can help you move your freight with an alternative route or alternative mode of transportation. Additionally, we are researching routes and areas to see which mode of transport would best meet your needs. Perhaps rail in the area desired has been unaffected – we will do that research for you. Our professionals are closely monitoring Hurricane Harvey and associated weather conditions.