Historic Flooding Makes Midwest Car Transportation Dangerous
There’s been a lot of flooding going on in the Midwest and the Plains regions of the United States, stemming back to early April. This flooding – while not continuous – has made Midwest car transportation dangerous in certain areas. Heavy rains across sixteen states has resulted in delayed crop planting, washed out roads, and entire sections becoming inaccessible. The FMCSA has actually suspended hours of service regulations for carriers who are assisting in disaster relief efforts.
What is causing the flooding? How long has it gone on?
The flooding started back in late March, and it’s been off and on. But the vast majority of the floodwaters are coming from torrential rains that are virtually unprecedented in past years. It’s been going on so long that many news outlets haven’t really been focusing much on it, but it’s causing a lot of problems.
The disruption just in commerce has already cost the United States millions of dollars, and with the rain continuing on into May and potentially June, it seems there’s no end in sight. While we don’t take political stances here at American Auto Shipping, it’s become clear that the largest culprit of the flooding is global climate change.
This explains a lot of the issues we’ve seen in the transportation industry as well. Compared to last year, prices for Midwest car transportation services are higher, and it’s been taking longer to book freight traveling to, from, or through the region.
Iowa has already seen over $1.6 billion in damages. Back in March, a dam broke in Nebraska. The resulting flood destroyed three bridges and closed sections of several highways.
In other words, this flood has been a serious problem for a while now.
How Midwest car transportation is being affected
As we mentioned, prices for Midwest shipping services are higher than last year, and it’s taking longer to book and move freight through the region. Carriers are avoiding areas that they didn’t have to avoid in the past, and some states, like Indiana, are seeing fewer vehicles moving out of major areas.
Most of the main interstate highways seem to be doing okay. Closures of I-80, for instance, have been reported, but they’ve been sporadic thankfully, with closed sections reopening after only a few days. As of this writing, the Midwest seems to be relatively easy to traverse for most carriers.
But that doesn’t mean all carriers. Rural transportation, which isn’t as popular as urban transportation, tends to be hit harder by disasters like this. Local roads don’t get as much attention as regional or national roads, after all, which could impact pickup and delivery locations and dates as well. Carriers having to battle flood waters may require customers to relocate to more palatable pickup or delivery areas.
Note too that the damage to infrastructure will almost certainly hamper carriers’ ability to get around. Affected areas will be either more expensive to ship to or from, or simply inaccessible.
What you can do if shipping to or from affected areas
As we mentioned, prices have increased into and out of the Midwest. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help yourself.
For starters, don’t ship to or from flooded areas. Find alternative pickup or delivery locations.
Also, don’t wait until the last minute to book. These floods are likely going to continue, which means even more delays in some areas. Giving yourself and your shippers time to arrange everything is always a good idea. But it’s an especially good idea if you’re shipping to or from areas affected by heavy floods.
Don’t worry if it’s taking longer than you thought to ship your vehicle. Carriers are avoiding the areas, and for good reason. A carrier won’t risk their entire truck and all their cargo to deliver a vehicle to a flooded area. If your vehicle has been waiting for pickup because it’s surrounded by floodwater, that’s probably the reason why. Speak to an agent for more specific tips regarding your specific shipment.