Making Your Supply Chain Storm-Resistant

We’re in the midst of Hurricane season again. Here are a few strategies from Supply Chain 24/7 to prepare your supply chain for hurricanes and other natural disasters.

 

 

Insurance

The first step a business can take to protect itself from loss due to natural disasters.  Traditional property coverage, flood, and business interruption coverage should all be part of your preparation.

 

Warehouse Network Considerations

If you have warehouses or facilities in at-risk cities, you should plan ahead so you can act quickly if disaster strikes. If you can, build your warehouse network beyond cities in at-risk areas so you can ship orders from those backup warehouses.

You can also have contracts agreed on with temporary storage providers or cross-dock facilities before a storm hits.

 

Backup Suppliers

Have backup partners ready to help keep things going during a storm if your main suppliers are affected by the disaster. It slows things down to research options or sign as a new customer during a disaster, so again, it’s smart to prepare now.

 

Backup Production

You may want to prepare to transfer production to a backup location in case your main facilities are impacted and can’t function. This should be thought of as a temporary solution as it will strain your other locations.

 

Ports

Ports are often hit hard during disasters like hurricanes. An important step to take is having agreements with your logistics partners for quick adjustments across shipping lines.

As Entrepreneur says, “ if your shipment to the Port of Miami is in jeopardy you can divert the container to deliver at another port and keep your product in motion.”

 

Fulfillment Options

If you know a disaster is coming, see if your buyers can fill a bigger than normal order and ship more product ahead of the storm.

 

Retail and Grocery

Weather is no longer a usable excuse for late deliveries. Vendors are still expected to deliver food, beverage, and other consumables during a storm. Plan ahead to prevent dealing with lost sales and added fees. One thing you can do is keep an eye on weather predictions and talk with your transportation partners about expediting shipments.

 

Drop Trailers

If you have an asset-based partner, you can plan a short-term drop trailer plan. This means moving product away from at risk or affected areas to wait out the weather

 

Rail

Moving your product away from storm-affected areas can help you keep business moving smoothly.  Most companies can consider shipping goods via rail. Although this would add transportation cost, it may be worth it to avoid damaged goods.

 

Added Costs

Because natural disasters reduce trucking capacity and make shipping more expensive, it’s important to budget extra funds for transportation in case of emergency. Figure out your plan for approving any extra costs so your team can operate as well as possible after a storm.

 

Transparency through Technology

Having access to real-time info on every part of your supply chain–from tracking to suppliers and inventory–helps you address any issues that arise. Choose transportation technology partners that have NextGen visibility tools.

For more information about how technology can help you prepare for disasters, contact SwanLeap.

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