Editor’s note: Want to help? The American Logistics Aid Network has a list of supplies and services in need due to Hurricane Ian. Take a look.
Carriers are continuing their work to restore service after Hurricane Ian ripped through Florida last week, halting delivery and transportation operations.
The hurricane made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, devastating the southwest portion of the state and killing at least 101 people, CNN reported. As the state shifts into recovery mode, trucking demand is expected to rise.
"I definitely expect to hear more in the coming days and weeks of restoration and recovery efforts that we're going to need to become more and more involved in," said Alix Miller, president and CEO of the Florida Trucking Association.
Miller spent several days last week assisting Florida officials in coordinating storm relief efforts from the state’s emergency operations center in Tallahassee. Flooding had forced the closure of Interstate 75, the main north-south route to Sarasota, and created disaster conditions on roads throughout the state.
Many trucking firms and owner-operators have reached out to the Florida Trucking Association to assist in recovery efforts, Miller said.
"They've reached out to me saying, 'Hey, we're not going to be hauling what we normally haul right now, and our area doesn't have power, but we have tractors and we have drivers," she said. "So, let us know [the need] for our tractors, our drivers to haul emergency goods.'"
The need for construction equipment in rebuilding efforts will push up trucking demand and rates, according to Jason Miller, interim chairperson for the Department of Supply Chain Management at Michigan State University's Eli Broad College of Business. However, given that the truck spot market has contracted over the past few months, Ian's impact on rates is expected to be minimal.
"This is probably not going to affect the truckload market that much in terms of changing the pricing dynamics," he said.
Many parcel carriers have also begun resuming service in areas where they had imposed restrictions last week.
UPS listed five Florida ZIP codes Tuesday morning in which no pickups or deliveries would be made, down from more than 800 the day after Ian made landfall. All five ZIP codes cover hard-hit Lee County, which includes the Fort Myers area.
"While most UPS facilities are providing pickup and delivery services as conditions permit, some delays are possible," a UPS spokesperson said in an email. "We will return service as quickly as conditions allow us and when it’s safe to do so."
FedEx Express and FedEx Ground have also pared down the number of Florida cities in which they have suspended services.
As of Tuesday, Express listed 40 cities with service pauses, compared to 151 cities this past Wednesday. Ground on Tuesday listed six cities with suspensions and 33 with partial service, versus 383 cities with suspensions on Wednesday.
The U.S. Postal Service listed 14 Florida facilities on its website Monday in which operations would be temporarily suspended until further notice. Alternate locations are provided for each facility.
FedEx and UPS service pauses continue in southwest Florida
Sarah Zimmerman contributed to this story.