How can the hurricane passing Houston affect your business negatively?
The Hurricane has a great effect to the 4th largest city in the nation, inhabiting close to 6 million people. Not many people realize, but Houston holds 2 of the most busiest airports out there! Houston is home to the 14th busiest airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and the 33rd busiest, William P Hobby Airport. Houston is also home to the 4th busiest port, the Port of Beaumont ,the 8th busiest, the Port of Texas, and 14th busiest port, the Port of Arthur. With these locations being closed and quite possibly flooded over, this creates a large halt until further notice.
Can these recent natural disasters have a permanent impact on your business or the industry itself?
You have the shipments already in transit that are going to be delayed until, at the minimum, the people effected by this tragedy can just get home. Not only that, but also you have the issue of whether the operations/facilities are able to be worked in or even usable. So even when those that can make it back home and can resume daily living it will be unknown how quickly the shipments pending in transit already will be able to be be moved. The other cargo that is normally routed through that direction out into that region now will have to find another location to come in which in return will cause volume increases in other regional locations to Texas/Louisiana area.
How does the industry recover from a natural disaster this size?
Just like any other problem we face, you just show back up soon as you can and you find solutions that will be the new process. That is the greatest thing we do is logistics we find solutions that are needed in the supply chain.
When do you expect changes to bring back "the normal" in the industry.
Right not it is very hard to tell when "normal" will be back until we have a better assessment of the facilities. If the facilities are in fair condition and operations can resume timely we would estimate you could see a normal flow of cargo within about 45-60 days. It will also depend on the surrounding infrastructure such as the interstates and bridges that could restrict the flow of trucks to be back into normal operations.