(Updated 5:35 p.m. Tuesday)
Trucking companies in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are struggling to restart in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, running limited operations where possible.
New Penn Motor Express, the Northeastern regional subsidiary of YRC Worldwide, remained closed for a second day as Sandy turned north into Pennsylvania.
“Very high winds and major flooding continue throughout the majority of the Northeastern United States,” the Lebanon, Pa.-based company said. “Many cities, counties and states have already declared a state of emergency. Businesses are closing and individuals are being asked to stay home.”
New Penn has 24 service centers in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada and more than 2,000 employees, nearly all in the region affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The company’s Web site includes listings of flood warnings and emergency weather conditions for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A Duie Pyle, a regional less-than-truckload carrier in West Chester, Pa., outside Philadelphia, canceled normal pickups and deliveries Tuesday morning. “As the day progresses we are planning to bring drivers in to perform pickups as our customers get their operations up and running,” the company said on its Web site.
Communication with customers is a key element of hurricane recovery. Many shippers in the Northeast will remain closed until power is restored and roads open.
NEMF, an LTL carrier based in Port Elizabeth, N.J., just outside New York City, reported several terminals closed and limitations on its express services. Terminals were closed in Baltimore, Bethpage, N.Y., Philadelphia, and Elizabeth and South Plainfield, N.J., on Monday and other terminals restricted operations.
The closure of Connecticut highways to trucks affected terminal operations in New York and New England, and that impact could spread Tuesday, NEMF warned.
Although states are expected to lift traffic restrictions on major roads as winds subside, it may take a few days at least to untangle damaged supply chains.
Ward Trucking, Altoona, Pa., also reported terminals closed in Allentown, Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Scranton, Pa.; Baltimore; and Newburgh, N.Y.
Pitt Ohio, an LTL, truckload and package carrier covering the entire area affected by Hurricane Sandy, closed certain terminals and reported power outages Tuesday. The carrier shut down terminals in Baltimore and Cumberland, Md.; East Windsor and Cherry Hill, N.J.; and Hazleton, Allentown, Harrisburg and Norristown, Pa.
“We’ve run limited delivery and pickup operations today in those areas and look to do more in the balance of the week,” said Chief Marketing Officer Geoff Muessig.
“It all depends on whether the environment and the infrastructure are safe for our drivers to go out and make deliveries and we will do so if that’s the case.”
For continuing coverage of the storm and its aftermath, see the JOC's Hurricane Sandy special topic page.