The Atlantic hurricane season begins the first of June and runs through the end of November, with the peak season typically running for three months, from August through October. The peak season so far this year has been a doozy, with back-to-back Harvey and Irma both making landfall in the U.S. as Category 4 hurricanes. And the Atlantic hurricane season is far from over, with more tropical storms and hurricanes – beyond that of current storms Jose and Marie – very likely. How have the recent storms affected the trucking and logistics industry?
Capacities right now are already tight – in part because this is the time of year for extra truck loads on the road due to the upcoming holiday season. Add to that driver shortages and increased truck tonnage in general this year, throw in a couple of Cat 4 hurricanes, and you have a trucking and logistics industry that will be altered far beyond Texas and Florida. As thousands of trucks are taken out of circulation to aid with disaster relief, capacities become even tighter, affecting the flow of goods and prices nationwide.
Fuel Price Increase
If you’ve filled up lately, you’ve probably noticed the gas price increase. Hurricane Harvey disrupted about a quarter of U.S. refining capacity – the total and partial shutdowns wiped out at least 3.9 million barrels of refining capacity. Gas prices surged about 15 percent, and the new prices will last for months to come.
Hurricane Irma ravaged Florida crops, with farmers in some areas suffering 80-90 percent losses. Not only will you likely not see Florida-grown vegetables on your Thanksgiving table this year but transportation prices would be affected as well because the crop damage extended to Georgia and other regions in the southeast which could make truckers less inclined to take loads going to these regions if there is are shortages.