In wake of Harvey, help from logistics industry pours in

Nebraska Task Force 1 working to respond to the effects of Hurricane Harvey in southern Texas.

As the last remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey makes its way inland, the logistics industry is beginning to assess the damage to the nation’s supply chain following what has been called the large single rain event ever recorded in the continental United States. And with this assessment, 3PLs and supply chain management firms are stepping up with donations to relief groups to help the estimated 30,000 people displaced by more than 50 inches of rain in the Houston metro area.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, about 10 percent of U.S. trucking capacity has been crippled by the five-day storm, which could force shipping prices to rise by 5 percent to 22 percent. In addition, more than a dozen Texas oil refineries from Corpus Christi to Port Arthur have been shuttered indefinitely, which may contribute to fuel shortages in the near future.    

Airlink, a rapid-response disaster and humanitarian relief organization, is currently working with United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines to move relief workers and volunteers free-of-charge into the heaviest impacted areas. Airlink is also coordinating with partner relief organizations Empact Northwest, Heart to Heart International, and All Hands.

Averitt Express, a Tennessee-based freight transportation and supply chain management firm and SmartWay partner, made a US$100,000 donation yesterday to the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund to provide food and shelter to thousands who have been affected by the floods, many of whom have lost their homes and possessions.

According to Averitt officials, the donation was made from funds collected through the company’s associate-giving organization, known as Averitt Cares for Kids.

“Our hearts go out to the people who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and in other areas,” said Gary Sasser, Averitt’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We want to do what we can to help the relief efforts, and we hope our contribution to the Red Cross will provide comfort and assistance to the communities we serve.”

FedEx Corp. has also committed funds to Harvey relief, announcing today that it will donate $1 million in cash to the post-storm effort and also lend its transportation services to bring medical supplies and other aid to the flood-ravaged areas in Texas and Louisiana. David J. Bronczek, FedEx’s president and CEO, said the express giant  supports disaster relief efforts through the American Red Cross, Heart to Heart International, Direct Relief, the Salvation Army and Team Rubicon under the FedEx Cares “Delivering for Good” initiative.

While FedEx still has suspended service to much of the stricken area as of today, Bronczek said FedEx will “continue to work closely with humanitarian and disaster relief organizations to provide support and deliver supplies to assist those hardest hit by the storm.”

Meanwhile, supply chain automation software firm Project44 said it is offering the use of its LTL Transit Time and Visibility, along with real-time Truckload Visibility products, free of charge for the next 30 days, “so that shippers can turn tracking and geo-location data into actionable visibility insights, and use those insights to make informed decisions about their inventory.”

“With so many people being displaced from their homes, and so many freight shipments being rerouted from a transportation standstill in Houston, supply chain networks are experiencing an incredible amount of congestion, delays, and complete closures,” read a statement on the Project44 website. “Project44 is Real-time visibility can help optimize transportation routes during natural disasters. Accurate, up-to-date transit times allow shippers to better forecast inventory availability and deliver contingency plans for delayed shipments.”

To learn more about future innovations in freight forwarding, air freight and logistics, join us at Air Cargo World’s ELEVATE Conference in Miami, Oct. 2. Click here for registration information.


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