Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge sent ripples through supply chains and trucking networks far beyond the enormous damage it caused along the East Coast.
It will take time for trucking companies to rebalance freight networks in Sandy’s wake, YRC Worldwide CEO James Welch said in an interview Friday.
A national LTL carrier such as YRC Freight has to redirect equipment and freight flow to account for terminals or areas shut down during a storm or its aftermath.
“A large (less-than-truckload) company like YRC Freight is really no different than an American Airlines or Delta,” which must reposition planes, Welch said.
Airlines canceled about 20,000 flights because of Hurricane Sandy, according to various sources, and that took a toll not just on their national but global networks.
“Once your network gets out of whack it takes a while to get it back into shape,” he said. “We’ll see an impact in Indiana if we’re not picking up freight in New Jersey.”
YRC Freight can get its national LTL network “cleaned up” in about a week’s time, he said, “but I see the rebuilding phase lasting some time in the Northeast.”
YRC Freight and other trucking companies will be crucial to that rebuilding effort, trucking relief and construction supplies to New York and New Jersey.
Regional YRC Worldwide subsidiary New Penn, Lebanon, Pa., shut down for two days during the storm, which Welch said was “the responsible thing to do.”
The LTL trucking company, which has about 2,000 employees and 23 terminals in the region directly affected by Hurricane Sandy, reopened Oct. 31.