Hurricane Matthew’s Impact on the Trucking Industry
Not since 2007 had the US seen a Category 5 Atlantic Hurricane. This all changed when Hurricane Matthew, a destructive and long-lasting tropical cyclone, wreaked havoc on the southeastern United States. Before its arrival on US shores, the storm also impacted Haiti, Jamaica, and a number of other island-nations. Its origin can be traced to a tropical wave near Africa on September 22nd.
Given that these types of storms can impact infrastructure and shut down daily activities to a significant degree, many in the trucking industry wonder exactly how things may be affected. For starters, many businesses in the storm’s path have sustained damage. This will leave many carriers unable to provide them services for a period of time.
However, this type of severe storm also spurs a number of relief and rescue efforts. Both public and private groups assisting with cleanup and emergency services will need supplies to support these efforts. This means that while truckers in the area where the storm impacted may experience disruptions in business, the industry as a whole will be able to continue their role of helping to provide the important supplies individuals and groups need.
There is also a chance that the storm could impact future hiring rates and fuel prices, though not for the long-term. It may take a significant amount of time for both private and public utilities to be restored in the affected areas, meaning that business as usual in these areas may start out extremely slow and speed up once relief efforts are enacted.
Consequently, as these efforts begin to work, the additional demand for freight transport may subside. While airlifting supplies is sometimes done in these situations, the freight delivery industry can be of great use when it comes to helping communities recover from these types of disasters.