Some of the nation’s busiest commercial truck routes are located in the northeast, so when Hurricane Sandy hit that region in October, it had a major economic impact to the trucking sector. However, the storm was also an example of how resilient the commercial trucking sector is and the important role it plays in helping America recover from natural disasters.
Initial estimates were that the storm caused as much as $50 billion of damage, but some economists say the commercial trucking sector may actually see a boost in business in the aftermath of the storm.
Bob Costello, chief economist at the American Trucking Associations, said Hurricane Sandy would have a negative impact on the economy, including for trucks, which have been experiencing rapid growth in recent years.
Costello also said fleets are expected to see an increase in activity in the coming weeks and months during the cleanup and rebuilding phases, according to a Truckinginfo.com article. “Dry van carriers will likely see a boost in freight from retailers replenishing store shelves that were depleted in the days before the hurricane,” the article said. “But of course these fleets saw a lull in freight in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast during the last few days (after the storm).”
FTR Senior Consultant Noel Perry said the estimated loss on the commercial trucking industry in the northwest was $140 million per day, both those losses will ultimately be recouped because of associated resupply and rebuilding truck freight demands. The estimate is that 20 percent of the commercial trucking industry was stalled in the week after the storm.
The storm was devastating for millions of Americans, but it is another example of how resilient the commercial trucking industry is and why it is an employment sector that continues to grow as the demand for professionally trained drivers increases.