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Houston Chronicle | Ships, Trains and Trucks Recovering from Harvey's Havoc

09.29.17 | Andrea Rumbaugh, Houston Chronicle

Flatbed trucks, which don't require chassis, can also be used to haul containers. But Dyll said those drivers were lured by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's higher rates during the week after the storm.

Dyll had to pay drivers from outside the region. And since more goods were entering the city for rebuilding than the normal flow of traffic leaving Houston, drivers were initially charging more to cover the cost of returning home empty. They were also charging higher rates because they still believed Houston was underwater, even though much of that water had receded.

Noël Perry, partner and transportation economist at FTR Transportation Intelligence, said truck drivers out of their normal routes may have to drive more empty miles or have more downtime between loads.

"When they're out of route, they have to charge more," Perry said. "And sometimes it's difficult to get the customers to pay more."

To help truck drivers pick up or drop off containers, Guenther said Port Houston opened the truck gates on Labor Day and one Saturday, dates they usually wouldn't be open. He said wait times have been normal for the drivers.

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