UPS and other trucking firms say shipments to home improvement retailers in the wake of Hurricane Irma will shrink capacity. As Fred Katayama reports, analysts warn of higher shipping prices.
Hurricane Irma could drive shipping prices for freight even higher. UPS and other trucking and logistics firms say construction and repair shipments to retailers like Home Depot and Lowe's will shrink capacity. The monstrous storm that struck the Southeast has boosted demand for things like lumber, generators and appliances in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas. That'll fill trailers and containers that haven't been filled by shipments for the busy holiday season. XPO Logistics Chief Operating Officer Troy Cooper said, "Already capacity was tightening. This magnified it." Research firm IHS Markit says prices were already rising because Hurricane Harvey had boosted demand for products to help the Houston area rebuild. It says that has a nationwide impact on pricing. UPS has resumed package delivery in all but three hard hit locations. It used generators to re-open sorting and distribution facilities and routed shipments around flood zones.