As Hurricane Season Begins, New Omnitracs Data Helps Fleets Prepare

As Hurricane Season Begins, New Omnitracs Data Helps Fleets Prepare

DALLAS: With the start of hurricane season, Omnitracs, LLC, a leader in SaaS-based fleet management and data analytics solutions and a pioneer in transportation technology, today released transportation intelligence to help fleets prepare for a predicted above-normal hurricane season. Data reveals that the impact hurricanes have on transportation activity can disrupt the supply chain for as long as 30 days depending on the proximity to the hurricane zone, size of the hurricane, and the industry represented.

Disruption to the supply chain can propagate hundreds of miles beyond the impact zone of a hurricane. Converging fleet management solutions and data – backed by the industry’s largest database of miles driven, events reviewed, and stops made – Omnitracs looked at previous storms to provide unparalleled transportation intelligence, delivering insights that will help fleets optimize every mile and every driver moment, as well as their back-end systems.

In August 2020, Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana, but the impact was felt far beyond the state for many days before, during, and after landfall. To understand the data, Omnitracs divided the impacts into three distinct periods of transportation activity surrounding the forecasted hurricane.

The first phase occurs days before landfall. During this anticipatory phase, companies coordinate with each other, pre-position assets and freight, and accelerate shipments. The second phase occurs just before and after the hurricane makes landfall. During this phase, companies and individuals are hunkered down, not operating; they are understandably concentrating on their safety and well-being. The last phase, recovery, can last many days after landfall. Resources flood the area, cleanup and construction takes place, and delayed shipments are finally performed.

While Louisiana saw a 50% drop over a two-day period when Laura made landfall, adjacent states were also impacted by the storm – as well as the typical Labor Day holiday, which occurred shortly after.

Approximately one month after Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Sally made landfall in Alabama. Recovery from this Category 2 storm started five days after impact and lasted for 15 days. There was a 25% increase in post-hurricane activity in the hurricane zone as well as service areas affected up to 200 miles away.

Unsurprisingly, retail deals with the highest intensity of impact with a 6% increase during preparation, followed by a 19% decrease during the landfall week and a 28% increase during recovery.

However, the net effect on total miles driven is largely unchanged. As noted in the chart below, the preparation and recovery miles make up for the losses during the landfall period.

“Hurricanes are inevitable and, although it’s difficult to accurately predict when or where they’ll hit, it’s important to be prepared,” commented Dr. Ashim Bose, Chief Data and AI Officer, Omnitracs. “With the depth and breadth of the data Omnitracs has – along with the routing, distribution, and safety tools – we are focused on helping fleets lessen the impact and get business back to normal rapidly and effectively.”