Trucking companies worry capacity could lag storm demand as they await state waivers

Florida truckers fear they won’t be able to ship the products needed for storm preparation as the state braces for a potential major hurricane next week.

A source with direct knowledge of the trucking industry tells Florida Politics that waivers, which are normally granted before a hurricane makes landfall after an executive order is issued declaring a state of emergency, has yet to be issued.

At least one order is awaiting fulfillment — sand shipments to Home Depot and Lowe’s flood-preparation sites, the source said.

The waivers allow truckers to carry additional weight to increase freight, extend trucker hours of operation, and suspend enforcement of registration requirements for those awaiting registration to ensure demand for items is met is covered, which are normally in short supply when there is a risk of storms, e.g. B. water, gas and sand, among others.

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As of 3:00 p.m. Saturday, waivers had yet to be issued.

The agency heads of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles issue the waivers that are approved after a state of emergency has been declared. The DHSMV has not yet responded.

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governor Ron DeSantis issued that order on Friday for 24 counties and expanded it Saturday is said to encompass the entire state.

The delay could exacerbate fuel and other emergency supply shortages as people flood camps in preparation for next week’s Tropical Storm Ian, which the latest estimate is forecast to make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane along Florida’s Gulf Coast prediction models.

According to the source, trucking companies are also suffering from a lack of drivers. Nationwide, companies are strapped to drivers. Typically, states exposed to a storm can pull drivers from other states to increase transportation capacity. However, with businesses in other states operating at full capacity, availability may be limited, further limiting the amount of goods that can be moved during the state of emergency.

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Tropical Storm Ian is currently southeast of Jamaica and is expected to move through the Caribbean Sea by the weekend and into the Gulf of Mexico early next week, where warm waters are expected to intensify the storm. Landing is expected sometime Tuesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The center of the forecast cone includes the entire state of Florida.

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