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Hurricane Recovery Supply Demand Bring Business Boom for Truckin - KOAM TV 7

Hurricane Recovery Supply Demand Bring Business Boom for Trucking Industry

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Joplin, MO -

The destruction in Texas and Florida, after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, has resulted in a huge demand for goods. From bottled water and generators as well as wallboard and plywood. And area trucking companies are answering the call.
Frontier leasing runs one hundred trucks and brokers freight to others and business is booming. Owner Gilbert Crismon said,
We've had so many calls we cant answer all of them. Crismon added, Our problem is sorting out who we do business with. Our main priority is the customers that we’ve, always stand by  customers  we've always had. They come first and they’re keeping us plenty busy.  And we're lucky to be taking care of them.”  
Sue Loveless who dispatches drivers for Frontier Leasing is seeing  an increase in shipping raw materials for roofing company  Tamko.
Loveless said, "They went from five loads for next week  to nineteen loads for the next two weeks.
Meeting demand isnt easy. Loveless added, Our drivers are on e-log so they can only drive so many hours a day. So, it kind of limits them to what they can do."
 

While the disaster driven business can be good for companies, its tough on drivers who say one of the biggest challenges is extra traffic.
Samuel Banks is a driver and trainer for CFI who said,  "Truck traffic, people trying to return home, regular traffic. It
s just miserable! Just horrible!"

Banks drove out of Texas during Hurricane Harvey and waited out the storm in New Braunfels with his truck rocking in the wind. But he said drivers, then and now, also have to  navigate through damage zones.
Banks complained, "Road closures. Detours. We can
t, you know youre scheduled to go this route, they detour you down this road here, but not all roads are made for trucks."
Nine percent of CFI
S drivers live in Florida. The company first got them out of harms way and now many drivers want to check on their homes, while the company works to get recovery goods and regular deliveries down south.
CFI President Timothy Staroba said, "We're heavy from the midwest down to Mexico and some of that goes through Houston. So, we now shift it around.  It has an impact on how many more miles we drive." 

 
Disasters also affect the flow of goods and could eventually impact prices for shipping.
Crimson with Frontier Leasing explained, "There
s more trucks going into that area than freight coming out.   Theyll be rates down (for empty loads) coming out,  raised a little going down (full loads) but were not gouge somebody."
Staroba with CFI said it will be a changing time for the trucking industry, "Whether regulations, pricing and capacity,  it
s gonna be wild the next twelve to twenty-four months."

Disaster recovery, combined with driver shortages and "e-log" hour limits are expected to lead to a crunch in trucking capacity.

While it is more business, Staroba and Crismon said they would prefer the disasters didn't happen and industry growth occurred in other ways. 

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