Freight Haulers in Demand as Floods Recede in Houston

Phil Cohen

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Hurricane Harvey Devastates Houston Area

On August 25th, the then-under-the-radar tropical storm Harvey turned into a Category 4 hurricane and deluged Southeast Texas in a heretofore unprecedented amount of rainfall. The metrics of the storm’s impact are staggering— 27 trillion gallons of rain were dumped on Texas and Louisiana in a mere 6 days, resulting in 51 inches of rainfall in total; an estimated $75 billion in losses are projected; 30,000 people who will need temporary shelter; and an estimated 450,000 people who will seek FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) assistance.

The tragic storm has drawn the attention and prayers of the entire nation—stories of post-flood heroics have warmed hearts, and stories of grief have inspired many to help those in need. The storm has also shaken up the nation’s transportation firm and economy as a whole.

Economic Toll of Hurricane Harvey

Harvey has not merely had a toll on human capital—it has also caused an acute disruption in the national economy.

Houston is one of the country’s most important trade hubs, with a vibrant trucking presence and a busy international port. After the storm, the local transportation came to a standstill. Regional trucking runs requested fell 80% and cargo/tanker ships had completely stopped arriving at the crucial port.

But now the flood waters are receding, and the brief suspension of operations within the transportation industry surrounding Houston is fast turning into an elevated demand, as supplies are needed to rebuild the city.

The Coming Demand for Freight Haulers in Houston

As mentioned above, Hurricane Harvey is projected to have damaged some $75 billion in personal and commercial assets, making it one of the most destructive national disasters in American history.

All of those damaged assets will need rebuilt or replaced—and that requires the services of the trucking industry. So, what can you expect as a freight company owner or a driver?

Unlike in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, trucking companies have had to wait weeks before it is safe to haul freight to those in need in Houston. Trucking companies will thereby converge in the city all at once as the flood waters continue to drain.

As a trucking company owner, you can expect increased business in this time of crisis—as a representative from the transportation industry in Houston told the Wall Street Journal, “we anticipate, based on our experience, that our phones will be ringing off the hook.”

It is fair to assume that your phone will be ringing, too, regardless of your geographic location. Firms from Texas to Wisconsin are anticipating a surge in demand.

In times such as these, your trucking services are of the utmost importance—the Houston area is relying on you to bring them the materials they need for reconstruction. The private sector and FEMA, alike, will likely need your services, so make sure that you have the working capital necessary to shoulder the excess business. Are you prepared? Contact us to give your cash flow a boost so that you can handle all of the disaster relief loads that come your way.

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Phil Cohen

Phil is the owner of PRN Funding and sister company Factor Finders. He has been an authority in the factoring industry for over 20 years, serving on the board of directors for several factoring associations.


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