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Road transport plays crucial role in resilience to natural disasters

3 Oct 2017

IRU highlights the importance of road transport services in disaster relief operations in Mexico and Puerto Rico under challenging conditions.

The impact on distribution channels, and the ramifications of impaired logistics networks highlight the important role of road transport in ensuring that countries become more resilient to natural disasters in the future.

As several ports began to reopen in Puerto Rico for limited operations last week, there was a major emphasis on getting trucks loaded to alleviate shortages throughout the island – but the effort has been hampered by the lack of trucks with drivers and delayed fuel distribution – as well as large amounts of debris covering the island’s road network.   

In Mexico, efforts to deliver relief goods to Mexico City and Oaxaca, both areas impacted by two separate earthquakes, were restricted by the collapse of bridges and the destruction of highways.

Though it will take months to rebuild critical infrastructure in the impacted areas, trucks continue to deliver essential relief goods and much needed construction equipment and resources, while also removing debris from affected cities and towns. The flexibility of trucks, with the facility to use secondary and alternative roads, has allowed relief operations to continue.

Global news has been dominated by these events in past months, and the importance of road transport to efforts related to the pre-incident preparation, in the case of hurricanes for example, and to the aid and recovery efforts post-incident is particularly relevant to the road transport industry.