No one will argue the tragedy and damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. Everyone is still assessing the lives lost, houses and businesses that were swept away, and the environmental damage from chemical spills and refineries. The trucking industry, as a whole, is used to a lot of business from Texas, and come trucking companies have even thrown in to help in relief efforts. While many are still overcoming the shock of what was experienced at the end of last month, others are looking ahead to how the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey will impact the trucking industry at large.
Hurricane Harvey Is Going To Strain Logistics
After a natural disaster, it is not unusual for the trucking industry to be called upon to haul things during the cleanup efforts. However, there are only so many trucks to go around. The industry is going to have to divide its resources between regular operations and special requests to haul debris out of affected areas, while simultaneously bringing materials and equipment for reconstruction into Texas.
The Price Of Gas
Even though oil prices were dropping as of July, we cannot say that anymore. Hurricane Harvey, as with any major natural disaster that hits the gulf region, will impact the oil industry as well. The cost of gas is already seeing an increase, which means overhead expenses will also rise. This will be felt across the country, and trucking companies are already trying to figure out how severely the gas price hike will cut into their bottom lines.
The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is going to involve the talents of the trucking industry for years to come. Yet once December hits, ELD regulation will also kick in. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) will keep track of hours on the road, and a host of other statistics. If drivers reach their limits, they will be forced to simply not work. These regulations, while designed to keep drivers from becoming fatigued, could severely slow down relief and reconstruction efforts in areas hit by Hurricane Harvey.
While Hurricane Harvey wrought devastation across Texas and other gulf regions, the after effects are going to be felt by the trucking industry across the United Stated for at least the next year. Perhaps the more frightening uncertainty is that we are not finished with hurricane season. The National Weather Service has predicted a much heavier season this year, which means more hurricanes could be on the horizon.