Not If, But When: How Supply Chains Prepare for Hurricane Season

Supply Chain Dive — As Category 3 Hurricane Hector nears Hawaii, risk and logistics managers remember lessons learned from last year’s series of devastating storms. Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate. Four 2017 hurricanes that were so destructive that the U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has retired their names. The four storms devastated portions of Texas (Harvey), Florida (Irma), Puerto Rico (Maria) and the Caribbean (Nate), leaving massive power outages, severe flooding and death in their wake.

According to the Washington Post, final costs may not be known for years, but estimates suggest the tab will far exceed $200 billion.

In crisis mode, clear and immediate communications is vital, Jon Slangerup, Chairman and CEO at American Global Logistics, told Supply Chain Dive, calling it “a two-way street” between customer and 3PLs or other business partners. “They share their experience with their providers. How do they deal with backup power? How do they deal with the labor impact when families are homeless and require assistance?”

Slangerup said that those in harm’s way usually have a diversion strategy in place, however, “there also are some with very little knowledge of their supply chain. We work at different levels. As a 4PL, we manage [clients’] 3PL networks. We map and plan their supply chain, giving us visibility into it,” including transportation networks, warehouse optimization, cargo diversion or delays, keeping containers at ports until the situation is normalized.

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Feature Image Source: Supply Chain Dive