Welcome to the talking freight seminar series. Today's topic is Considerations, Freight, and Disaster Planning.
Today we have a three speakers Vince Pearce of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary, Lieutenant Cornell Begin, and Ben Fuller of the U.S. Xpress Direct.
Within this context he is responsible for conduct emergency support function one, transportation under the national response plan.
In 2005, this included transportation for the evacuation of New Orleans, after hurricane Katrina. He has a bachelor's degree and MBA from Harvard and six years of professional experience.
Managed numerous projects, programs, planning and setup and implementation and design and including design of other a dozen traffic centers domestically and overseas, following the attacks of September 11th, 2001.
This team's area of responsible included Homeland Security, National Defense Preparedness, Disaster Management and Traffic Management.
Highway Security Panel and advisor to the National...at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Disaster management Lieutenant Cornel David Binder serves motor carrier compliance office with 467 employees including 253 sworn law enforcement officers.
These officers enforce Florida statutes with special commercial vehicle enforcement.
Lieutenant Cornell Binder received undergraduate degree in public administration from Bear University in Miami and pursuing master at Florida State University.
He began his law enforcement career as Florida Highway Patrol Trooper in 1983.
During his career, he served has a traffic homicide investigating for, oversaw drug efforts in southwest Florida and investigating for specializing in theft and fraud.
He was assigned of task of writing the strategic plan.
He joined the motor carrier compliance office in January 2000. Served as Secretary Treasurer of the state law enforcement chief's association.
He re-received the Last Leader award for work on auto theft issues, Hurricane Rita recovery, and other industry related projects.
Eric Fuller, grew up in the trucking industry with his grandfather, father and uncle running trucking companies throughout the year.
He's been officially working in the industry for ten years much he's been a terminal manager and sales and overlies. Vice president of the Xpress Direct for two years.
Xpress Direct is a division of the U.S. Express that handles the needs for U.S. Express.
I would like to go over a few logistical detail testimony last with 90 minutes with 60 minutes allocated for speakers and final 30 minutes for audience questions and answers.
You will be given instructions how to answer the questions offer the phone.
However during the presentation you think of a question you can type it in the smaller textbook on the lower right side of screen.
Make sure it's the thin box not the large white area. They will be able to answer the questions during the presentation and I will use some of the typed questions to start the question and answer.
We will go this a little differently since someone has to leave a little early we will take questions for him immediate lie following his presentation.
If you think of questions for Vince during his presentation we'll address them then. If those questions are not answered will be posted to the freight list serve.
It's an e-mail list and a great forum for did you say button of information and post questions to find out what other subscribers have learned.
The web address you can registers is provided on the slide on our screen. Finally, I would like to remind you this the session is being recorded.
A file will be posted to the talking freight website.
During the mile we encourage you to direct others in the office to access the recording.
PowerPoint present takings used during the seminar will be available in the next week. I'll notify all of the team in December, with PowerPoint.
We'll wait a few minutes and let a few others join us and 1:00 we'll start with the first presentation of the seminar. Gregory, if we can put everybody back in hold. We'll hold on two minutes and get started again.
Welcome back everybody. It's 1:00 or a little after.
We've had a few others join us. Today's topic is Considerations of Freight in Disaster Planning.
The first presentation is per U.S. Department of Transportation. If you think of questions during this or other presentations type them in the chat area on the screen.
The questions for the other two presenters and Eric Fuller be answer dollars in the last half hour of seminar however since the first presenter has to leave a little early we will take his questions immediately following his presentation.
If you have questions for him type them and and we'll take five minutes to address them. With that I'll turn it over to Vince Pearce and we'll get started. You can go ahead.
Thank you. First I have to apologize for my voice.
I've had a pretty serious case of laryngitis since last Friday. The good news is I don't feel as bad as I sound. I ask that you stick with me.
I want to describe to you today is based on our experience moving comedies des to hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma this year.
Specifically I would like to give you background about what we did and talk about five major issue areas that relate to the movement of freight as part of a disaster response.
As Jennifer said in the introduction I'm responsible for emergency support function 1 and transportation under the National Response Plan. That doesn't mean that we're the only people who have transportation resources or assets.
It does mean that ordinarily when federal assets are moved, that FEMA comes to us and we facility at a timer provide the transport for the movement of goods --
it could be ice water, or meals and 300 firefighters and firefightering equipment or plane load of marshals. We do a quite variety of things.
Katrina has been a real experience for us as I think it has been for over over response entity.
We've moved about 16,000 truckloads in response to Katrina and are very wholly engaged in the movement of motorhomes and travel trailers to provide housing for the citizens whose homes were destroyed in the storm and subsequent flooding.
One of the things worth noting about our transportation is that we really don't have fixed or ice.
FEMA as ice stored in 27 warehouses around the state so a request to move ice may have us starting at any one of those places or other courses with which we have no prior experience
so what we operate is very large -- or respond to is large national requirement.
Of course the most obvious challenge we have is knowing where everything is. Particularly in the days immediately following a disaster, we get a large number of requests, many of them are for support to entities in dire conditions.
We work for several days to try to get fuel not generate for in Baylor Hospital in New Orleans. That was literally keeping the hospital running. They were concerned about people on ventilators or other electrical devices.
Although we would like to go with a just in time concept, one has to remember the storage space is in fact a very scarce entity in the disaster zone so much of the materials may be damaged due to lack of or debris or other issues.
So we work to distribution centers, what we call staging areas well outside the disaster zone and down into the zone itself. FEMA is DHS department of Homeland Security is adjusting the time logistics contend.
We will like to see how that will be applied both positive and negative that will occur during an disaster. Knowing where every asset is becomes really critical.
One of the things that happened to us was after the Hurricane Rita the temperature in Texas sky-rocketed.
So the normal demand for ice which we were prepared to deal where became a much greater demand of ice than we anticipated.
A lot of ice doesn't come from the southern states it gets made in the midwest and northern U.S. and so we faced an unexpected and critical,
demand to make ice to keep food good and people lives liveable while the power came back on ment one of things we constantly have to deal with to push us nowhere the assets are loads may be redirected.
State and local officials may have better visibility of where specific goods are needed and so once those loads get down in the disaster region we may find trucks diverted to one location or another.
We need to know where they are so we can provide them assist tans on useable routes in and in particular routes where they can find fuel and finish their mission and return.
Here's the real challenge we may have to do that without any land line or cellular communication.
Our industry demands a great deal on cellular communications and after hurricane Rita we had virtually no communication. Security is another challenge.
It's not at all unheard of it's certainly been in the media that in fact there was localized lawlessness after Katrina pass the through Louisiana
and as haulers of commodities have to be thought about is the safety of personnel and pay loads.
It may not just be the bad guys that represent that threat.
In fact local officials may also appropriate these federally divided assets without the consultation of the providers
and yet again we are responsible for our employees and which need to know where they are and that they're in safe condition.
Security is an issue both en route and at the designation. If you're moving a scarce commodity those shortages for example if you were moving fuel oil during the height of the short yapping
and price hikes are nothing; the thing that's highly desirable in the disaster area but something we had to be conscious of in the fuel oil will where we are moving.
Regulations of course there needs to be appropriate consideration of what regulations can be relaxed so that disaster response can proceed at a deliberate pace.
This is not an one entity-controlled all environment. We have both federal, state and local regulations that we have to deal with.
One of challenges that we face in the federal regulatory environment is hours of option and that's one we had to be very aware of bus vehicle operators if the disaster zone maybe scarce so extended hours might be appropriate
and likewise overloads may be appropriate in the transportation structure obviously the more of the goods you can get in the disaster zone the faster, the more relief you'll be able to provide to the disaster victims.
Use of untaxed fuel may also be necessary.
We used a fair amount of fuel provided by the department of defense and provided in some cases potentially directed from refiners in stores keep both our economy going
and keep our responder able to carry out their mission in the disaster zone.
One of things key is access to waivers. We express our great appreciation to the Federal Highway Administration and USDOT for the websites they set up making the waivers and contact information for every state available.
One of things not always thought of waivers may be needed far outside of disaster zone.
Our first source of oversize loads of Cumberland Maryland it was not a disaster zone but a place with needed help to get the house trailers and portable structures down in the disaster zone.
The other unique thing with the Katrina is the water periods are gone on much longer than the typical month that we have dealt with historically.
Given the situations that may be faced, nothing that a load you're hauling is a disaster relief load becomes pretty important.
During Katrina we did something pretty simple and it worked pretty well that was a FEMA region lined up a letter from the logo and appropriate text saying
"Hey, the folk operating this vehicle are carrying a genuine disaster response load give them due consideration."
You got to remember the loads get hauled by the private sector. It's not like their carrying military ID or preissued FEMA ID or something.
These are trucking firms from all over the nation and we need to be able to give them something to that local law enforcement, fuel providers and so forth recognize the critical mission they're on.
Delays, delays are something we deal with in the freight industry constantly.
Delays this the disaster zone are pretty much standard operating procedure. One of the source is the logistics process itself is not an exact science understanding the needs and typing of the needs
and all resources being like may lead to pretty serious backups similarly it's not just the logicians that are charge the elected officials will telephone make their will known
and sometimes we end up with significant amount of resource at least temporarily greater than demand.
Processes times when you get a cue potentially miles long if the staging area or moving down into a distribution point you may have delays from processing time.
Of course you continue to hear stories in the media about labor shortages in New Orleans and Louisiana, southern Louisiana in general.
There may be routing problems because after debris or damage to the infrastructure and we've already talked about lack of communications.
The challenge of getting word to the drivers that the route or designation may need to be change if a facility is no longer available or whatever.
So creating the flexibility, dealing working in a way that's flexible in dealing with the demands and understanding they are part of the way of life is really important to success.
My conclusions, hauling in a disasterous response environment yeah it has some things in common with regular hauling we need drivers, fuel and maintenance and folks to off load, on load and cross load.
It's got things very much unlike regular hauling dealing with debris and security the more concentrated security issues and some of the designations that we do onto in so forth.
So there's definitely something for which a clear understanding is valuable.
Flexibility is the key whether it's to delays, to credit denials or permitting or whatever understanding how movement of the disaster response works
and realizing that deadlines are going to be important but we're going to be faced with many challenges,
understanding the process is essential and whatever can be done to make communication easier whether it's two-way pagers or Blackberries or a couple of different carriers on cell phones, whatever.
They're are going to be problems but the more you can community with you can with your vehicle and it's operator the more likely you will find you what's really happening and to know who where the load and operator are
and to be able to maximize both the mission accomplishment and your financial benefit from the relationship. So that's about it. Go ahead and...
I'll go ahead and read. Thank you Vince. I promise I won't make you speak too much longer. I mentioned we'll do things a little differently today since Vince has to leave a little early. We'll take questions for him.
I'll start off with the questions that have been typed in. If you think of questions, type them and and we'll open the phone lines and take five minutes to address questions for Vince and move on.
The first question we have is was there any means or attempt to track trucks if a disaster zone during the cell outage following Katrina?
Well, there's a couple of pests to a answer. The first is some of the vehicles In fact had GPS transponders and using data networks that would get us that information back.
That didn't gist give us a communication with the driver but it gave us a sense of where the assets were. The other was when the logistic areas are set up FEMA and those of us who work in the area bring in communications assets.
Even though we didn't know where the vehicle may have been in between two of the staging areas we sort of knew where it had been last at a staging area
and then it would check in again when it got to a distribution opponent or another staging area.
Yeah, we had spotty communications, point communications and then of course the benefit of really advanced automation in some cases.
Thank you. The next question is how as ESF1 outsourced management of disaster logistic particulars who was a responsible for coordinating?
Logistics is actually a FEMA responsible. FEMA tasks us to provide transportation consistent with their logistics planning so the answer to your question is that the logistics planning and operate itself is a FEMA responsibility.
FEMA then contracts or has other agencies contract for the goods just as they ask us to move the goods down in the disaster area.
Once into disaster area typically the responsibility becomes the state and local responsibility for physically distributing the goods to individuals and families.
Okay, if you establish any form of legitimacy for drivers for MD.
That's a tough problem. The term we came up with for those kinds of operators it watch just trucks or buses or airplanes are roads.
The answer is with airplanes it's easy because we control the airspace but for other kinds of vehicles,
on the law enforcement side they were keeping a pretty strict eye and I'll allow enforcement that including the national guard and active military did.
Because with any disaster a concern about the potential for looters as well.
So we transportation were not taking actions this would have prevented that kind of threat but law enforcement and military as part of their standard disaster security role were doing things that would have had some success there.
Okay, the next question is as a state official in Kansas it would have been better during the disaster if a website
or some official -- if there was a website or some official place that I could have looked to see who were the designated transportation.
That's a tough one we've been asked that question by some other entities. One of the -- the answer is that we aren't doing to right now for two reasons. The first is that we use a great, great number of small haulers.
Of course one of the federal -- something that's important to the federal government is small disadvantage business contracting.
As you know being with the state agency and our primary contractor does a great deal of business with owner operators and small firms.
So it would be a very, very long list. The other problem is since we do contract that to the private sector they view that information has to who they are as proprietary.
I appreciate the comment and we will keep thinking along those lines as to whether something can be set up because we understand the benefit would be mutual and thank you for mention it.
To your knowledge was anyone in the freight hauling industry involved in the exercises. This was first post-storm exercise and I believe they should been.
Yes, I believe your primary contractor was involved in the exercise. That was actually before I took this job over so I'm not absolutely positive.
Yes, I believe, I have heard that the contract -- the direct contractors for several of the emergency support functions were involved.
In the perfect world what technologies would have been most beneficial during these events?
I'll tell you the place I would have started would have been some kind of ubiquitous communications ability.
We had just distributed satellite phones to our personnel.
It turned out we didn't have good experience with satellite phones and we misunderstood the limits of using them and we'll experienced some surprises.
Ideally what I would like is something like a cellular phone or walky-talky you can walk around at staging area with hundreds and thousands of trucks there and you can do it day or neat and done need cellular towers or land lines to work.
That kind of ubiquitous communication is where the assets are, are my dream.
That's all the questions we have typed in. I think we'll hope the phones just to see if anybody wants to ask a question over the phone. If not we'll go to the next presentation.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to ask a question press star followed by one on touch tone phone.
If your question has been answered or if you wish to withdraw your question please press star followed by two. I'm showing no audio questions at this time, ma'am.
Okay, what we'll do is move on and give Vince a chance to rest his voice. Thank you, Vince.
If anybody thinks of additional questions for Vince, what you can do at the end of the seminar I'll bring back the slides with the presenters e-mail addresses you can send to the freight list serve or to me and I'll get it to him.
We'll make sure any additional questions make it to Vince to get them answered for you. What we'll do now is turn it over to Lieutenant Cornel David Binder of the Florida Transportation Motor Carrier Compliance Office.
You'll notice from the title of my presentation the part after the colon is "Florida Experience," and unfortunately Florida's had for experiences with hurricanes than we care to.
Basically for the last two hurricane seasons we've been under siege and we continue to learn from each and every hurricane response we go through.
In addition it our own issues with Katrina the state of Florida assumed law enforcement responsibility in the six southern across in Mississippi
and we went out there and helped them for the first several weeks after Katrina so I'm going it talk about that as well.
Jennifer, I'm pushing the down arrow and I'm not going to the next slide.
try clicking on the screen once with your mouse.
There's a couple areas I want to focus on, fuel, emergency orders, permits, prestaging issues, road closures and traffic flow. The fuel issue is something that really impacts us hard in Florida. We don't have the pipeline.
All the fuel that we bring in to the state of Florida is brought in by barge and then trucked to fill the seaports we have in Florida.
As the hurricane approaches the peninsula the captains are to close the ports to the marine traffic and often the entire port closed which means barges can't get if to off load fuel to staging farms
and with it being closed the tank farm can't distribute it to other tankers to redistribute.
Trucks have a little less impacted than cars due to the fuel capacity and range that trucks have. What we started doing is staging refueling tankers for trucks at the logistical staging area.
If you come in and we can top you off and send you onto your final designation and make sure that you can get there.
The previous presenter was pretty tactful and saying that sometimes other governmental entities will appropriate fuel and supplies.
What we do in Florida because sometimes it's in add vernant an agency is going to escort a tanker and accidentally grab the wrong one. We have vehicles for law enforcement, fire and things of that natural.
And we have our marked patrol cars give fuel escorts or escort to all fuel tankers to make sure the tankers get to the right location.
We in Florida, we have predesignate sites where we station tankers not only do we have to meet the lands transportation fuel needs
and because of the barrier islands and people refuse to evacuate we have to go out by vessel to check on them and do search and rescue operations.
We predesignate fueling locations and we bring in contenders and set them up to week refuel boats as well as cars.
Previous presenter also talked about relief from regulations when Florida governor signs an order it triggers relief for safety regulations under 49CFR.
We give weight restrictions we give up the 95,000 pounds with five axles hauling relieve supplies and IRP requirements. The last thing I'll mention and the last principle is FEMA letters.
It's our desire to get as much as relief into Florida as we can and it's our desire not to abuse it. We see a potential for abuse by using the FEMA letters. I'll give you an example of manufactured housing.
We although it's used for temporary housing. But getting hit with six hurricanes in the last year or two and a half years I can't imagine any overstate needing it more than Florida.
Yet, the manufacturing housing here in Florida the FEMA work is few and hard.
We get skeptical when we see manufacturing housing leaving Florida under the FEMA permit letter. It becomes dicey in us making judgment calls.
We always try to if we're going to make an error,air on the side of getting it for Floridians. We waive from state to state. Back several months ago we called another state and said hurricane's coming. We're lifting these regulations.
We would like you to comply and y'all do the same thing a mid-level manager from that law enforcement agency it's not his state's problem it's Florida's problem.
A few months later it ended up being his state's problem as well.
I can see an opportunity and we discussed this about a week or so ago with federal motor carrier of us getting together a committee so we can have a uniform emergency relief regulations and guidelines
so you as the shipper you don't have to guess
when you depart in one of those 27 locations that has ice and you don't know until you're if route you're going to Florida or Alabama or Mississippi, you shouldn't have to guess what the regulation is.
We should have some uniform guideline codified and let you know what it is so there's no surprises.
If you pick up a load of ice in New England you shouldn't be challenged by those states that aren't Infected the impact of the natural disaster justice because you're en route here.
I think there's something we can go on the government law enforcement side to get uniform. When we come up with relief from regulations or issues that impact you.
There's several weighs we try to get the word out to you. We use the trucking associations the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
We have a great relationship with individual carriers, we communicate with our neighboring states and we have two websites that are available up on the screen.
It is first is my agencies website and the other is kind of one-stop shopping for anybody that wants to engage in trucking business in the Florida it links you up not appropriate regulatory in the state of Florida.
We post here. If you come to the Florida and have the website addresses you can print out maps, permits and Governor's Executive Order and see what you're exempt from by going to the website.
It's kind of one-stop shopping and I really encourage you to use those. Brief staging. Governor Bush is extremely adamant about getting relief supplies to people immediately.
We plan on taking care of the first several days with our state assets and state resources without waiting for help from the outside. So we pre-stage logistical staging areas that we have throughout the state.
I'll show you a picture here in a minute of the comfort stations that we have at our weigh stations where we have parking, restrooms and a clean facility for truck drivers to use on day-to-day basis
and we pre-stage there and stage close enough to the impacted area that we can get relief supplies in there in hours. We try to stay far enough away the area that the relief supplies are not impacted.
Here's a graph of the comfort station we have.
If you look to the left there's parking for 50 trucks and the brick structure itself has vending, restroom, things of that nature.
A driver can pre-stage there at any point in time if they're travel through Florida they don't want to get the rest area for truck stop and mix it up for four-wheelers there's a clean, safe environment for them to utilize.
One of big problems we have post-storm is road and bridge closures. Florida because of the just the geography of our state we have a lot of bridge problems.
We're starting see deck displacement, we have erosions and obstruction and flooding. This is one of those pictures I hoped or wished was recreated by some technical person from the Internet.
This is a real life picture of the westbound leans Interstate 10 where hurricane Ivan you can see the driver was in the cab of the truck with the bridge deck got displaced and he ultimately parished.
And there you can see the eastbound lanes of that same bridge post-hurricane Ivan.
We're seeing significant bridge damage because of storms we've had in the nature of them being as strong as they are. This bridge will probably not be rebuilt and fully functional for another year and a half or so.
Right now we have temporary bridge structure in place. We are not allowing overweight or over dimension loads they have to take an alternate route.
When we responded to Mississippi we found we are not the only people to have problems bridges.
This is the U.S. 90 bridge in southern Mississippi you can see their deck got displaced as well. There was a significant road and bridge damage we've seen over the last two years storms.
One of the problems is not as catastrophic can be fixed quicker is washout. Usually that can be fixed in a couple of days opposed to years it takes for deck damage and erosion is a big problem.
What you can't see off to the right in the photograph there was a canal where people bring up 30, 35 boats we drove across it
because so many sand eroded the roadway to the beach and filled up the canal where they were land locked in there and you could drive across an excursion. Then we see the unusual roadway obstructions.
This is an actual casino in Surgeon, Mississippi sitting on -- Southern Mississippi sitting on highway. It was used everyday and a casino is sitting on it.
The road way will be obstructed for some period of time you know what that means in the transportation industry.
I don't have to tell you. You live it. Talk about motor information this is what we do to get it out. We started a 511 system where you can call from your cell phone and get traffic updates.
The companion website and they have update closure information that's gone on during and subsequent to a disaster and we use spattering of message boards, signs and local motorist radio and information systems.
Actual considerations before we deploy our people to the hurricanes and unfortunately they have learned it well over the past view years with the hurricanes we've had.
I tell me people to prepare to go on a camping trip for three or four days.
You need to take everything that you need to be self-sustaining for the first three or four days and don't assume anybody will be there to help you.
Truckers are somewhat fortunate they have a sleeper berths in their truck they are one-up on everyone else.
Food, water, medicine -- you need to be prepared. I think one of biggest issues that we're coming up with right now is that second bullet point.
Obviously for looting reasons and crime control reasons, local governments in act curfews.
The unfortunate reality those of you providing transportation services to retail stores and bringing in all the things we're in desperate need of often encounter local law enforcement who is is enforcing curfew.
There's conflict between the local curfew and just good judgment and doing what we need to do; I'm not sure how we'll fix that overnight but that's on the radar screen as a major issue.
Some of you involved in the associations, if you can get your associations to assist in that, we need to get some kind of resolution to a issue.
We are always getting requests for law enforcement escorts and we have to say no to just about everybody unless there's a legitimate security need. The previous speaker, Vince, spoke about people miss appropriating the supplies.
I similarize with the driver going with the law enforcement officers tell him to go. Because of those reasons and people engaged in criminal activity we are to make sure the loads go to the intended designations.
There are often requests for us upon reenter tree escort convoys of trucks thinking that it's going to distinguish them getting to their designation. People need to realize at the time of reentry there's no gridlock.
We can sit there with lights flashing and we won't be about to expedite people getting from point A to point B when there's gridlock like that.
It's great to put you on the shoulder but you get to bridge and it ends and you have to merge back into the traffic.
And we're back in the gridlock. The planning and anticipate and Florida bridge closures when winds get 39 miles per hour. Detour routes was the example of I-10 bridge if Pensacola. That's a detour route for a long time.
Often detour route takes you downtown congested area and you need to be prepared for that. The vehicle size and weights what's the normal detour route and maybe even a second that will take you out of your way more.
This doesn't have anything to do with hurricane response or recovery but as Jennifer mentioned on the steering committee of the Florida Commercial Vehicle and Cargo Task Force.
Every year for the past several years we've been on a legislative security summit.
Every year as working with law enforcement in the industry and elected officials we've been able to do several things in Florida that are reduced cargo theft in Florida.
Unfortunately, as one attendee said last year you're doing such a good job? Florida that they are about to steel Atlanta that we just displaced people in different states. We have done things to make law enforcement more effective.
This year's summit is on the 25th and 27th of January down here in the beautiful has see. If you want to -- Tallahassee. This is a true private partnership.
It doesn't cost you anything to attend the summit.
A lot of the strategies that we come up will do nothing more than save you money and help your business. Log on the welcome back and fill out the pre-registration form and fill it out and we love to see new Tallahassee.
Thank you, Cornell Binder. Then we will take questions following Eric's presentation. If you think of questions, please feel free to type them in and we'll get to those after the final presentation.
Eric, if you will give me a minute I will turn control over to you. I will let you know where you can begin. Okay, and our final presentation after day will be that of Eric Fuller of Xpress Direct trucking. You can begin when you're ready.
Thank you my name's Eric Fuller I'm vice president of Xpress Direct. To give a background on Xpress Direct we are a division of U.S. express and expedited solutions provider.
We handled the outside the normal transportation needs for a lot of our customers. We handle last-minute freight solutions which means picking up in four to six hours.
We provide capacity when there isn't any other capacity in the marketplace. We also do a project which is a disaster recovery projects and holiday search projects. We handle special equipment needs that others are not able to handle.
Through a number of carriers that we have that recontract with and also through the U.S. Xpress network we have availability to 5600 company tractors and some of our own equipment
and we have availability to the whole U.S. Xpress network and we also have 20,000 trucks through other carriers that we contract with that we also have available to us as well.
Our experience on the disaster recovery side. We've actually been doing Hurricane Rita recovery since 2003. In 2005, we pulled over 5600 disaster recovery loads for a number of government agency.
We are not contracted for a government agency, we're a subcontractor to place Iike FEMA, DOT and state governments. We pulled over 2300 loads of disaster recovery for the private sector as well, Wal-Mart, Home Depots companies like that.
The issues which face are the disaster one is disruption of the normal freight network and communications issues, issues with the safety and infrastructure, as well as issues we faced during the disaster recovery effort itself.
Now, the disruption of freight network side. The season in which hurricanes occurs is actually very problematic since all the through November, August --
through November is the busy freight season from that's when a lot of our customers are starting to ship their holiday shopping needs to a lot of stores.
So from August to November, we actually see from a 55 to 75% increase in our volumes than any other time of the year. Unfortunately, this is when the hurricanes are busiest as well.
I know there was 16,000 total loads pulled for the government hurricane relief.
This number can be a little misleading because there were 16,000 loads pulled but on average from our standpoint on average the trucks sat anywhere from five to ten days at a staging area before they actually delivered
and also since we were delivering straight to the coast we found a lot of times it took anywhere from a day to two days to get that the truck whack to the regular network.
I can get seven to 14 days that this truck is out of regular network which pulls capacity nationwide, pulls capacity out nationwide.
We saw areas in California, Pacific northwest, northeast, all these areas were affected due to the hurricanes due to very little excessive capacity.
All extras were pulled is the coastal areas for the hurricanes. From our standpoint in the carriers and shippers we saw a lot of people started to use rail usage.
It went up great will you during these disasters because there wasn't a lot of excess pass city.
We found -- capacity we found we were fronting customer freight on rail.
Communication side the wireless networks were down and some areas they were actually down for a few weeks at a time and we will had an issue with satellite communications as well.
Where some the bandwidth was being used up by the government.
Often times in we had a driver the hurricane area it would take anywhere from eight sometimes as much as 16 to 20 hours to actually get to message through from to the driver. From the time we send it to the time the driver receives it.
The normal time is anywhere from five to 15 seconds. It made it very difficult to talk to your drivers and to give our drivers instructions especially the drivers that were on Hurricane Rita recovery themselves.
Now, also, we had issues with the safety and infrastructure.
The biggest thing was lack of information on bridges and roads that were damaged or out.
It seems like the information doesn't get in the hands of the drivers or even the companies for the drivers to we can get that information to the right people who need it.
A lot of our drivers really just kind of had to drive until they ran into a closed road or a roadblock and turn around and find another way to get to their designation.
If there was a way to put some kind of listing on Internet to that all the companies that were involved could actually access this to see which areas we could send our truck in.
And really from our standpoint a list of roads or a list of bridges that are out really doesn't do us much good
because we're sending drivers thousands of miles away hundreds of miles away we really don't know if that particular bridge or road is in his route.
Since most of the loads originated in really the same point and delivered to the same point if there was a list of approved growth it would make it a lot easier for us all in the trucking industry as opposed to list of roads.
A lot of water we were pulling was actually 50 to 60,000 pounds. Normally we can't full anything over to 45,000 with our forward-looking thing we we aren't receiving was info for weight loads for damaged bridge and highways.
If we could get that information it would make things easier. Unfortunately this year, we didn't have it it was a kind of the leap of faith whether you pull over a bridge or highway that looks damaged or not.
Also on safety and infrastructure side, many trucking companies near the hurricane damaged areas were without power and phones some of them for weeks at a time.
A lot of these companies were helping with the hurricane relief and they aren't able to communicate with truck it's sitting.
There's no other way to get information on where the driver needs to go. Not only did it pull capacity from the hurricane Rita recovery and out of the entire freight network nationwide.
We see a need for a company to apply for priority and restoration of sources. We also saw a scarcity of few.
We found that fuel within two or 300 miles on the coast with our drivers settling a week at time we would see them run low and we had a drivers run out of fuel.
Couple ran out of fuel once they left the staging area to deliver to their designation and ran out of fuel on the way to their destination.
On the disaster recovery side we had a couple of issues that we come on on the disaster recovery side itself.
A lot of times freight is in position for the hurricane. We think it's a great and allows us to get water and what have you to people that need it quicker right after the hurricane passes through.
Fortunately what we found is the freight and trucks and we want would be pre-welcome back equipment -- equipment would be prepositioned in the hurricane zone.
We would have to make a decision if we would pull our drivers and equipment back out of path.
Unfortunately what that does is add to the con secretions the interstate getting out of the hurricane area.
Obviously we don't want our drivers or equipment if the path ever the hurricane but we also tonight want to put our drivers in a situation where they don't feel comfortable.
We had situations -- a driver got down there they were putting drivers in a safe area in a military base. The driver didn't feel safe. If the diver doesn't feel safe we will let him pull back to an area which he feels safe.
I think you'll find a lot carriers will have a same attitude. A lot of them don't want to put their equipment or drivers into an area that doesn't feel safe.
Maybe a police to preposition furthered inland and on the major highways. What we saw we didn't deliver stuff any sooner by pre-positioning.
A lot of the drivers that pulled out in the prepositioning areas got out in time and delivered just as soon as the guys that sat down there in the prepositioned areas.
We need a just in time program to eliminate the wait times. On average the drivers sit self to telephone days actually sitting at a staging area often times a military base.
We think the government could access more capacity as a cheaper rate by eliminating or minimizing the wait time. Also a lot of large trucking companies do not participate disaster recovery for this one reason.
They have regular customers that they deal with year in and year out and they find not knowing when their truck is going to available is not worth it to them to have trucks sit there a week or two at a time.
It pulls a lot of trucks out their network and makes it difficult for them to take care of those year round customers.
On the Xpress Direct side this is kind of our business and we plan by this and we're not affected by the wait times as much.
But we find a lot of other carriers are effected by the wait time and it does become an issue and actually for one the disruption to the freight next work as well. Actually reduce the disruption by having the trucks tied up for less time.
I needs to focus on last mile. We also find a lot of confusion, understoodably on the last mile of delivery from where the goods, the water, the MREs actually needed in the disaster area.
We also came across times when we had actually had loads that originate sometimes within 100 miles or less of the delivery opponent
and we would point and travel 500 miles to a staging area and sit a week at a time and then travel back to the delivery area.
For example during Wilma we had water picked up in the miami area taken to Jacksonville and sat five days at a time and delivered back to Miami.
We think there would be a benefit to create a system to deliver straight from origin to delivery and cutout the staging areas as much as possible or all together if possible.
Also another aspect that we came across was confusion on who was truly in charge.
There were numerous individuals from a number of different agencies and companies directing our drivers where to go on the ground
and often times we were being told something completely different from the companies that we deal with who are our direct customers.
Drivers were also often sent to sites where they did not need supplies anymore or the sites had been shutdown all together.
Now in conclusion, we see a need for their to be an Internet site or some way to provide information on safety or infrastructure issues
either over the Internet or some way to get that into hands of drivers themselves who actually need this information.
Also to have one agency or group manage the logistics so all know their role beforehand. A standard operating procedure or fact document to get in the hands of carriers so all the carriers know their role in that process.
Also I've talked about this a couple of times to create a just in time process. This would lessen the impact of the disasters on the national freight networks, it would reduce costs for the government and probably for the carriers as well.
And reduced congestion in the affected areas by limiting the amount of trucks driving back and forth due to all this confusion. And that is the end of my presentation. Thank you.
I'm sorry, I had it on mute. I've been speak up this time the phone's been on mute. Thank you Eric, and all three of the presenters for the presentations. We're going to go ahead start with the question and answer session now.
I'll start out with the questions type in on line and we get through those we will open up the phone lines if you have additional questions freight planning serve. Vince Pearce has left to go to another meeting.
His e-mail address is shown on slide on the screen so you can send them to him or the list serve or me and I'll get the questions to him.
We're going to start off with questions for Eric, and since you just gave the last presentation and Lieutenant Colonel Binder you want to respond to questions as well please feel free to.
And if you want to respond jump in. The first question for you Eric is, aside from internet sites, how else can realtime information be delivered to shippers and carriers
such as via dispatch centers and how many of these are there nationwide for just long-haul shippers?
Well, we actually have one dispatch center here centrally located. Really the internet would be the best way.
If there was another way where to just send information directly to the certain carriers that are involved, that would probably work as well.
But given the fact that a lot of our people during the hurricane are spread out we have people on-site that we send in and if a wireless network is working
and they are able to get on internet then they would be able to access these sites as well.
We would be able to distribute some of these through an e-mail if there was something sent directly to us. Probably the internet would be the best way to distribute this to all the different carriers that are involved.
Okay, thank you. Next question I'll ask you first Eric, but I think Lieutenant Cornel Binder may answer.
I'm from British Columbia and not familiar with the road systems. No one mentioned predesignated roads; are there some and how are they used?
Honestly, if that information -- we didn't really receive it. We minded the state DOT website for information and there was some limited information on some of these website about that.
But for the most part, it was really up to the driver to determine whether a certain route was safe and if he came across a road closing or something a lot of times he would back up and try again.
A lot of times we didn't have information on a predetermined route.
Okay, and Lieutenant Cornel Binder as far as Florida goes, how would you respond to that?
We use logistical staging areas in proximity of the highway areas expect the photos in the presentation are least affect by the road ways we discussed.
Congestion is one of the problems and one of the benefits to the prestaging is so we don't get the response caught up in the re-entry traffic. I think in Florida, our website is kept up to date what roadways are opened or closed.
You can go to the website and look at vehicle counts, pull up a highway segments and tell what the average speed is. There's a lot of good information on website that you can use for planning purposes and dispatch purposes.
Okay, thank you. Eric, the next question for you is could intelligence transportation systems be used to provide data to truckers not only or usable roads but assist with routing information tied into GPS systems?
That is something a number of carriers including myself are looking at. It's kind of the new technology.
That's something that probably would help out a lot as we get more realtime data into drivers and actually use a routing system.
They use this realtime information come from the state DOTs or national DOTs so that we could properly route our drivers into areas that they needed to go to.
Yes, that would help a lot. That's not quite -- we don't quite have anything like that at this point. But that's something I believe a lot of a big carriers are looking at.
Okay, thank you. Lieutenant Cornel Binder the next question is you mentioned there's some way for state agencies, law enforcement officials to plan for emergencies or disasters.
Do you agree with this. Has there been any attempt to form such a committee or plan?
I think this hurricane season changed the dynamics on the nationwide basis. We get hit with hurricanes on a regular basis in Florida. Two seasons ago we had four major hurricanes.
Like the one lieutenant said in the overstate said it's Florida's problem not our problem.
Now with hurricane Katrina it's not just our problem but a regional problem with focus. We met with others and our partners are USDOT and this was a large particulate of die lock.
Now, the states before where it was not their problem realize it can be their problem and we see a willingness to participate before we were basically the lone wolf saying we needed to do this.
Other states didn't give us the buy in. I see the buy in in other law enforcement and private sector. I think we can get more participation where before it was Florida saying we need to do this.
What I would like to see it get a working group together and look at what some of issues are, come up with uniform policies and procedures
so we don't have one trucking company driving across five different states encountering five didn't sets of rules and regulations.
Those of you in the transportation industry shouldn't have to play that guessing game and I think we should get something done in the off season where it's not hurricane season
and take vacations and do overwork and get something done and get something in place. I think we need uniformity or central repository where you don't have to travel to five different states and five different weather.
Authority and central information that the carriers need.
Thank you. The next question is for you as well.
At any in time especially before a disaster occurs, does the state of Florida -- are they capable to know where essential relief supplies are located out of state,
the quantity of the supplies, and which truckers will be used to restock the supplies?
Emergency operations are divided up in the EFF I work out of ESF16 and work closely with EFS1 for transportation.
There's separate for food and water, energy and logistic particulars and have -- low against and should be familiar with that. I can't tell you exactly how that process works.
But again with our they are here in Florida of trying to be self-sufficient for the first several days I external expect that -- certainly do expect they know the answers to questions.
that's a question I can pass onto Vince and get the answer from him and get the answer back out to everybody.
One last question typed in -- I think it would be for more Vince.
The question is it possible to create a database that allows automated on line routing for oversize overweight vehicles for any state that the transporter may need to cross?
Eric, would you find that be useful?
That would be extremely useful but also there would be a need for realtime data put into a system because often times bridges or highways maybe damaged during a hurricane and --
before the hurricane you may be available to are certain weight limit go across after the damage has been done it may reduce the weight limit for bridge or road.
There would be a need to be updating that on the realtime basis throughout the whole process of the hurricane. But, yes, that would be something that would help us out a whole lot, definitely.
What are your thoughts on that?
I think that's a great idea. To show you the confidence we have on our website and ow valid the data it.
We use is ourselves to make the determination. If with bridge closed and open we know it needs to immediately indicate up, that database because we ourselves are using it. That data reliability is very important to us.
Then going for somebody coming from another state it would be nice if they're going to travel from Virginia to Florida
that they can one-stop shop all that route information at one website as opposed to having to go to each individual state.
did either one of you have and questions that might have been sent directly to you that I may have not seen? Sometimes that happens.
Not that I'm aware.
Okay, I just wanted to check on that. Gregory at this point if you could give instructions again on how to ask questions over the phone and check up on the phone lines and ask questions.
As a reminder ladies and gentlemen it's star followed by a one to ask a question. If your question has been answered it's star followed by two. Please standby for your first question. And first question comes from line of Steve Zimmer.
This is Steve again, much I was interested in about the routing. A lot of states are doing that but the problem they run into is they have a lot of data they have to put out there but they don't have the money for it.
I was curious to knowing if there was anyway for funding to be sent to the state willing to participate in some type of national routing system. That's it.
Presenter if you have a response please feel free to go ahead.
Well, one issue on our routing system is that often times our drivers are into the affected area within a lot of times within four to eight hours after the hurricane as passed through.
So often times by the time this information has been collected by any of the state DOTs our drivers are already in that affected area trying to find a route that will get them to the...
I understand that.
To the area where they need to be.
In Florida we have a crews out and law enforcement out before the winds die down. We're getting pretty contemporary information. We go out immediately once the winds drop below 39 degrees it's a hazardous situation.
We have the information as timely as possibly be. I can't speak to the other states and not here to do a commercial for Florida.
Just to emphasis a point the data on our website we use it to make our own decisions and that's the reliability we have to offer I believe.
This is Bob from the Federal Highways. I was wondering if the variable message signs could be used to give realtime information about road or bridge closures?
We used them I wouldn't say immediately after the event because they become debris -- 100 mile-per-hour winds hits a sign you no longer have usage of that sign.
We've been trying to deploy them and use them a good 14 months up now where hurricane Ivan is.
We try to deploy them as soon as possible because we can't pre-deploy them because of damage from the hurricane.
We use the message signs extensively. One of the things he did in Pensacola a couple of hurricanes ago, we had a problem with traffic control devices blown down,
the traffic lights and hurricane damage them and lights and all the things that go along with that is short supply.
What we started doing in the Pensacola area before the hurricane impact taking the lights down, latching them to the polls, having the polls rewired for generation power,
as soon as the storm goes outside the area we can reattach the light, we don't have to wait for hem to get from the warehouse and hook them back up to power and as opposed to days if not weeks without any traffic control devices at all.
Okay, thank you. Do we have any other questions over the phone?
Yes, your next question comes from line of Ivan.
Thank you, it's a great presentation and great ideas that you've all had. I had comments and questions regarding the knowledge of roads and conditions. I think the media does a great job of showing us where damage and road conditions are.
I was wondering what experience that information can be used to fed into the GPS devices and others so you get realtime information. I believe with the availability of helicopters once the storm died down it's a tremendous information.
What I understand is FEMA and Red Cross now do routine analysis of the same media. I was wondering if that to could be fed into information system to expedite the delivery of the truckers.
From the trucking side we were monitoring the news stations a couple hours before storms hit watching for information on road damage and sending that to our drivers via sat comp as soon as we not the information.
We were using DOT website as well as any other information we could get from the media. They were very helpful in getting the information out.
Often times we would find the media would have it a little bit before the DOT website or something so we should able to react a little quicker.
I would like to emphasize I think we've come up with a lot of guidance. We do we need to come together on nationwide basis.
We've see disparity over responses in the last year or so and I'm hearing every state is different and it would benefit to have uniformity.
I think we have a lot of potential solutions out there and first step is getting this dialogue going. Whatever happens I think it should be on a national base, uniform and expeditions matter.
Do we have anymore questions?
Yes, you have a question from the line of Vivian.
Good morning, can you hear me. Okay, I'm still trying to figure out the phone system. I called from British Columbia.
My question may or may not be with in direct response to the topic. It's definitely a great presentation; a disaster response route we have in British Columbia and predesignated.
My issue is in addition to looking at how you get resources where they're going and the types of resources that are being sent. Sometimes for the most part what's been discussed here with regard to solicited or requested donations.
What happens with donations sent from all over the country that are not necessarily part of the requested so they're unsolicited donations. Hurricane Andrews had a great amount where it stopped the scheduled shipments.
I think she said on a very good point. We've seen that in with law enforcement response. In Florida, we have a very structure law enforcement response system.
We have a freelancers who want to do good and right thing and they show up the area whether law enforcement or somebody bringing relief supplies unsolicited.
Now they need to burn fuel, food, water and shelter and all the things we are trying to provide for the victims.
Those unsolicited responses can be a problem but I'm not sure how we can combat that. We see a lot of that and people well-intentioned sometimes causing more problems than benefit.
When I was out in Mississippi, I saw a K-Mart parking lot full of thousands of square feet of supplies that people dropped off and they weren't undercover
and a rainstorm away have having that much more debris to remove. Without infrastructure to inventory and store and retribute those supplies it becomes a second problem.
I have a question associated with Pan American Health Organization -- I have to end up having humanitarian supply management systems.
Sometimes I think we reinvent systems because we haven't had enough experience of our own certainly that's the case in Canada to a certain degree.
I wonder if we've looked at this system for in coming humanitarian aid. They have miles of zip files for houses and there must be a component to this that we haven't looked at.
Either Lieutenant Cornel Binder or Eric, feel free to go ahead.
There's nothing that I'm aware of.
Can I post it to the website and maybe let you folks have a look at it?
Yeah, go ahead and type that into chat area.
Back on the materials unsolicited the U.S. is you know the forerunners for developing a templet to deal with that. That's are we have a connection with transportation and what's being transported.
We certainly attempt to make sure as little unsolicited stuff is sent. We had a major incident in British Columbia in 2003 where we had a mass quantities of unsolicited donations show up and create problems for us.
In the incidence where you had a Katrina and the Florida state hurricanes this year and last year we haven't had anything that large and more problematic than anything we've suffered.
Thank you. Do we have any additional questions on phone?
There are no more questions at this time, ma'am.
Thank you. What we'll do at this time we'll go ahead and wrap up the seminar if there are no additional questions. If you think of additional questions feel free to post them to the list serve or send them to any one of the presenters.
Actually I should mention our next seminar on January 18th is titled Commercial Vehicles: Size and Weight Issues and Uniform Ideas.
We'll take a lot of questions asked during this seminar and hand them over to the size and weight with teams.
I think a lot of these questions are questions they can answer and we'll get them up on the list serve and get responses from size and weighing team.
Next month's seminar will probably address some of these issues as well and I encourage you to register for it.
Thank you to all three presenters. As I mentioned before this is recorded and reporting will be able on join in the next week or so Talking Freight website.
There may be a delay because holiday it may be more like two weeks. But, I'll definitely let you know when it becomes ready.
Again the next seminar is January 18th, on commercial vehicle size and weight issues and innovative enforcement ideas you can register for it on talking freight website; we have the February and March 2006, posted as well.
Thank you everybody enjoy the rest of your day and have a great holiday and Happy New Year and thank you Lieutenant Binder and Eric.
Ladies and gentlemen thank you for your participation in today's seminar. This concludes the presentation and you may now disconnect. Have a great day.