Hurricanes and other severe storms can affect a business in several ways. The NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting a hurricane season with above-average activity for this year. The NOAA’s outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, is calling for 14 to 21 named storms. A supply chain can quickly be disrupted by a hurricane or other large storm. Is your supply chain ready for hurricane season?
Protect Your Supply Chain
While it is impossible to avoid all of the effects of a severe storm, there are steps that supply chain managers can take to help mitigate the damage and restore business as quickly as possible. Stanley Griffis, Professor of Business Administration in the Department of Supply Chain Management at Michigan State University states “Products coming into and out of an area that has a focused threat like this change dramatically before a threat’s arrival.”
He states that there might be a lot of freight movement in and out of the area in addition to people moving out, which stresses the infrastructure, as businesses try to get products out of the way of the storm and items for storm preparation come in. However, having a plan in place will help to be prepared for some of the aftermath of a severe storm.
- Supply chain managers should understand which areas are most likely to be affected by hurricane damage, which means knowing which links in the supply chain are most likely to be disrupted. This includes ports and warehouses since they are usually built on low land near the ports. Identifying facilities that are considered high-risk can help prepare for an event.
- Buy Insurance. Insurance is one of the best ways to prepare your business for a natural disaster. Floor or hurricane insurance can help restore damaged assets. There is also business interruption coverage, which can cover lost sales during a disruption due to a severe weather event.
- Have a Backup Plan. Logistics managers should have an alternative plan should there be a severe weather event that includes temporary warehouse services or a ramp-up in production at facilities that are still able to operate. For example, after Hurricane Katrina occurred, Proctor & Gamble temporarily moved from New Orleans to Kansas City. Business continuity planning can address a range of risks and develop an emergency plan to return to normal operations as fast as possible.
- Use Drop Trailers. Drop trailers can offer beneficial protection against a hurricane. A carrier can drop a trailer with product at a warehouse or other facility to be picked up at a later date. This can be helpful if there are supply chain partners outside of the hurricane path.
- Increase Visibility. A supply chain that already has real-time access to tracking information, suppliers, carriers, and inventory counts will fare much better when a crisis occurs. Knowing where everything is in the supply chain will help you identify any issues that need to be addressed. Making the investment to enhance the visibility along every part of the supply chain.
- Communication channels might be difficult after a natural disaster, but it is essential to make it a priority. Proper communication with supply chain partners and customers can make a difference in your supply chain. When there is a major disruption, details should be shared with every logistics partner. Good communication practices to include when orders are expected to arrive or when operations will resume can help you get back on track faster.
After a hurricane, supply chain managers should be focused on resuming normal operations as quickly as possible, so the company loses as little in revenue as possible. Having a recovery plan in the aftermath of a hurricane can ease recovery for supply chains. Whether it be a significant storm like a hurricane or another type of unexpected disturbance, you can prepare your supply chain for uncertainty.
The best way to create a plan for your supply chain is to work with a proactive logistics solutions provider like Red Arrow Logistics. We can help businesses of all sizes prepare for a severe storm or other unexpected events that can disrupt the supply chain.
Your Trusted Partner
At Red Arrow Logistics, we provide expertise and white glove customer service with fast-growing, complex, and high-value supply chains. As the next-generation model of logistics companies, we offer tailored transportation and logistics solutions — from single shipments to complex over-dimensional and international orders.
Red Arrow offers the scale and scope of services including air, ocean, and ground transportation to meet the budget and schedule requirements of the largest and smallest companies alike. If we can be of assistance, please email us at email@example.com or give us a call at 425-747-7914.