When the rain and flooding subsides, areas affected by Hurricane Harvey will begin to rebuild. FreightCenter can help get your freight there despite all the hurdles you may encounter. Here are the top 10 things you’ll need to know about shipping to Houston and surrounding areas affected by Harvey.
When rain won’t stop and streets continue to disappear, it makes it difficult to focus on transportation. Major interstate I-10 is flooded and areas cannot be reached by truck and rail until the water subsides – which could take up to a month.
2. Infrastructure Failure
Moving flood waters corrode the foundations of infrastructures such as bridges and roadways. The Woodforest Boulevard bridge across Greens Bayou has collapsed. Levees and dams are unable to handle the mass quantity of water building up and sinkholes are becoming a genuine concern. Integral buildings to the city such as George Bush Inconternental Airport and Ben Taub Hospital suffer the wrath of rain as pipes burst and water seeps in from the streets.
Photo: Andrew Kragie, Houston Chronicle
Photo: Rick Jervis, USA TODAY
3. Terminal Backlogs
As shipments begin to arrive to terminals near Houston, Austin and Corpus Christi, Texas – they may not be able to make final delivery due to flooded roads or local terminals being closed for delivery. In that case, shipments are stored temporarily until the item is picked up by the recipient (you or your customer) or arrangements are made by the carrier to make delivery at a later date.
4. Rescheduling Pickups
If your shipment gets rescheduled for a later pick up date, FreightCenter Customer Service can assist. Please keep in mind that businesses get pickups earlier in the day, while residentials get later. If you’d like a guaranteed delivery date for your shipment, utilize our guaranteed options for an exact date and time frame. Be sure to ask your Freight Agent for the truck driver to call ahead of pickup to ensure someone is there to hand the driver the BOL.
5. Rescheduling Deliveries
While all remain the same as with rescheduling pickups, keep in mind that when rescheduling a delivery, it may be a more difficult process. Since the driver will be delivering to an affected area where road conditions are unknown and vary day to day, a delivery date will need to be a bit more flexible.
6. Damage During Transport
There’s never been a more important time to buy insurance for your freight shipment. Limited liability coverage is provided by carriers at 10 cents per pound. For higher coverage, you can buy additional insurance through FreightCenter’s third-party insurer: Falvey. Keep in mind that used or household goods cannot be insured as freight.
7. Waterproofing Shipments
Depending on what you’re shipping, it may be crucial that you waterproof your shipment should it encounter flooded areas. Several layers of shrink wrap help to keep most water out, though it is not a guaranteed method. Tarps can also be purchased to individually wrap and seal items that could be damaged by the elements.
8. Knowing Your Available Service Options Beyond LTL
Beyond LTL transport, there are a variety of readily available specialized service options for your freight shipment. Know which option is right for your shipment and will provide you peace of mind: time critical, guaranteed service, expedited service, to name a few. Rail is also an option, although both the KCS and the VNSK have suspended operations in the Houston area for now.
9. Consolidating Shipments
Consider truckload shipping instead of LTL for a dedicated truck into affected areas. By consolidating shipments, you minimize the amount of truck activity into the area and lessen the risk of multiple shipments getting delayed or stuck in flood waters. Additionally, if you plan to send multiple smaller shipments over time, it may be cheaper for you in the long run to simply send one large shipment.
10. Warehousing and Storage
Due to the impact Hurricane Harvey has caused on the transportation industry, shipments are backed up and operations are delayed as the industry tries to stabilize services. Should your shipment get delayed and have to be stored until a truck can get it delivered, FreightCenter can help shippers find warehousing solutions to keep loading docks clear and operational.
FreightCenter will be offering special rates to those who ship into an affected area, give us a call at (844) 212-SHIP to begin scheduling your shipment.