Crane does its big lift for Hurricane Harvey affected Houston
At landfall Hurricane Harvey had winds in excess of 130 miles per hour, which placed it as a major Category 4 Hurricane, tying for the 18th strongest hurricane on landfall in the US since 1851 and ninth strongest in Texas. As one of the largest and most damaging Hurricanes in the US history, Harvey destroyed life and property across the state of Texas and the wrath of the nature threw life and businesses across Texas into complete disarray.
As the region begins to pick up the pieces in the weeks, months and years to come, there is a growing concern about the impact that Hurricane Harvey will have on the regional and national economy. According to BBVA Research estimates, published in its latest report on the economic impact of Harvey, the economic cost could reach $111 billion. Furthermore, the report suggests that in 2017 and 2018, Texas real GDP growth will be around 2.7 percent instead of 4.3 percent and 4.1 percent instead of 3.8 percent respectively. However, Federal Reserve, the American Central bank, in its latest policymaking meeting noted the harm Harvey caused on the regional and national economy, but said that it will have little long-lasting effects.
As Houston, the second largest US state by both area and population, has begun picking up pieces to get back to normalcy, various private and public organisations have come together to support its complete revival. The Houston-headquartered freight management and contract logistics services company Crane Worldwide Logistics has been placing its best resources to move the city forward.
Crane is working with The Red Cross and offered its warehouse to the agency for storage of relief materials. The Red Cross has been onsite in Houston helping with the aftermath of the Hurricane Harvey, mobilising thousands of disaster workers and providing shelters, supplies and food for tens of thousands of people. Crane Worldwide Logistics has also deployed trucks from their fleet to deliver donated supplies to the area. During the hurricane, Crane mobilised their team to coordinate land and air support and manage critical deliveries of supplies to hospitals in need.
“Crane Worldwide is proud to do whatever we can to help our home-town get back on its feet,” says John Magee, President & CEO of Crane Worldwide Logistics. “As a logistics company we have certain resources at our disposal. We are dedicated to committing those resources to assist in the local recovery and help those affected by this disaster in any way we can.” Meanwhile, Crane’ Chairman Jim Crane pledged $4 million to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
Founded in 2008, Crane is now present over 100 locations across 25 countries and is inching close to a billion dollar in annual revenues. Magee found some time to take a few questions from The STAT Trade Times about how his company is helping Houston keep moving after Harvey swept through his city.
John Magee, President & CEO of Crane Worldwide Logistics
Take us through the devastation in Houston, with particular reference to supply chain and how is Crane affected by it?
The devastation in Houston has, quite frankly, been unbelievable and hard to fathom. Reports show that over 134,000 homes were either partially or completely destroyed. As for Crane Worldwide Logistics, we were closed down completely for 2 days but had most of our employees in the last 3 days of the week. The worst part was the damage to some of our employees’ homes and cars. We are still assisting over a dozen to get back to “normal”.
What are some of the specific initiatives that Crane is doing to support the city in terms of supply chain?
We have consulted with the city on a number of their initiatives in how they manage the huge influx of donated goods.
What are some of the specific steps Crane is doing in relief efforts?
We also worked during the early, and worst, part of the flooding to support pharmaceutical companies and local hospitals to get much-needed drugs and medical equipment delivered. In some cases, they had been told it would be impossible, but our fantastic team found a way by working closely with TX DOT (Texas Department of Transportation) on the safest journey for our drivers to take.
What are the activities that you are doing with The Red Cross? Are you giving your resources in terms of people (staff) and assets (warehouse space, vehicles)?
The Red Cross has enough people, but for an effort of this size, they needed space to operate out of. We donated the use of one of our warehouses. It is approximately 6,500 sq m (66,000 sq ft). We are proud that we were able to help.
How long would you be extending this relief assistance to The Red Cross?
They initially said that it would be for 1-2 months. I believe it could last longer due to the amount and impact of the devastation.
Are you the only logistics player in Houston doing this or are there more companies doing something similar?
I am certain that we, most likely, are not the only one. I am very proud of our city and all the people in it. The way that they pulled together and immediately began working together has been inspiring. The first effort was to rescue those that were stranded and get them to shelter and safety. After that, the demolition of flooded buildings and homes started. And now, we are re-building. But we are a strong city and will come out of this stronger.
Photo: Houston staff of Crane Worldwide Logistics with members of the Red Cross at the Crane warehouse donated for use in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey