Transfix Take: Midweek Market Update (September 27)

The Midweek Market Update is a recurring series that keeps shippers and carriers informed with market trends, data, analyses, and insights.

Transfix Take Podcast | Ep. 69 – Week of September 27

The Industry Braces for Hurricane Ian’s Impact 

On Tuesday, Hurricane Ian strengthened to a Category 3 storm, and will most likely continue to strengthen over warm waters. Ian is now forecasted to take the worst-case path, and recent reports predict a direct hit south of Tampa.  

Hurricane Ian poses a threat as the worst hurricane Florida’s west coast has seen in over a decade. The anticipated landfall is Wednesday evening. On Tuesday, the governor lifted hours of service (HOS) restrictions for drivers and issued a state of emergency and mandatory evacuation for hundreds of thousands of residents. Routes such as I-75, I-4, I-275, and I-95 are experiencing heavy congestion and traffic. 

Starting Tuesday, we will start seeing a significant impact on trucking capacity. Some carriers are already alerting us that they have drivers opting not to work during the storm and instead are parking their trucks for the time being. Others have moved capacity to the spot market to support relief loads from FEMA and other essential product shippers. 

With the scale of the potential impact, this storm will not only affect Florida’s west coast. The eastern coastline, including Jacksonville, is anticipating issues from storm surges. 

However, Florida is not the only state that will be impacted.  Ian is still expected to be a tropical storm or depression as it moves through Georgia and the Carolinas. Shippers and FEMA will likely stage freight across a wide range of areas in case the storm changes paths. This will likely cause a domino effect on capacity disruption in Florida’s neighboring markets. 

Shippers and Carriers: Be proactive, Be informed, Be communicative 

  • First and foremost, stay safe.
    • Stay up to date on the changing weather conditions.
  • With large-scale evacuations, be prepared for heavy traffic in some areas near evacuation routes. 
    • With expected delays, proactive communication about timing is KEY!
  •  Prepare for high winds, as this makes for unsafe travels when driving with empty trailers. 
  • Bring along your own supplies in case of emergencies
    • Water, road flares, batteries…
  • Capacity will tighten and remain tight for several days as supply chains get disrupted.
  • If you can pull forward shipments heading towards or leaving the Southeast region today, do this as soon as possible if it supports capacity leaving by Wednesday afternoon. 
  • If you can reroute shipments and avoid the Southeast, you should proactively do this through early next week. This may push more freight into the spot market, but be worth it.
  • Expect drivers operating in this region to have on-time issues due to weather, traffic, and other potential issues
  • Be proactive on facility closures, don’t leave your carrier hanging
    • Proactive Communication is KEY! 
  • Prepare for the worst.
    • Large-scale power outages and flooding
    • Lasting impacts on capacity even after the storm passes 
    • Climbing spot rates for freight leaving and entering the Southeast (freight can pile up due to facility closing and an increase of volume from emergency relief freight)
    • Rising tender rejections (carriers opt to park trucks, run relief loads, or shippers pushing dates)

All views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Transfix, Inc. or any parent companies or affiliates or the companies with which the participants are affiliated, and may have been previously disseminated by them. The views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are based upon information considered reliable, but neither Transfix, Inc. nor its affiliates, nor the companies with which such participants are affiliated, warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. In addition, the blogpost may contain forward-looking statements that are not statements of historical fact. All such statements are based on current expectations, as well as estimates and assumptions, that although believed to be reasonable, are inherently uncertain, and actual results may differ from those expressed or implied. All views,  opinions, and statements are subject to change, but there is no obligation to update or revise these statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

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