Like many other fleets across the country, refrigerated carrier Stevens Transport of Dallas has responded to requests for help by lending units to the relief efforts in New York City.

"We've donated several units," said Todd Aaron, senior vp for Stevens. "We've also provided refrigerated trailers that can be parked onsite to store temperature-controlled goods like food."

According to Aaron, several of their largest customers serving the greater New York area also felt a capacity crunch in the first days after the collapse of the World Trade Center.

"Customers who supply food to New York City asked us to load up our trailers and maintain business as usual, even though bridges and thruways were closed," he said. "So that is just what we did. In some cases, it meant keeping loaded trucks parked and waiting in Connecticut and eastern Pennsylvania for about 48 hours before we could make deliveries."

The impact of the terrorist attacks will be detrimental to motor carriers, Aaron said.

"I hate to say it, but this will be the nail in the coffin for those fleets that are under-capitalized or on the fence this year," he predicted. "On the other hand, the demand for equipment is at an all time high because the record number of bankruptcies we've already seen have taken capacity out of the system. As a result, those of us in operation have really not seen a slowdown."