Experts predict the 2020 hurricane season will see plenty of action due to warmer-than-average ocean temperatures. Large tropical storms and hurricanes can halt air travel, flood roads, block trucking routes, and cause damage to valuable freight and inventory. Any business, large or small, needs a consistent and reliable supply chain.
Now may be a good time to take note of your existing supply and freight chains in anticipation of a potentially chaotic hurricane season. Take a look at these three strategies that may help to hurricane-proof your supply and freight chains.
1. Pay Attention to the Weather
Hurricanes must never be underestimated, nor should you tell yourself a hurricane will never affect your business. A minor hurricane may only affect a small region of the country, but large ones can have a ripple effect on greater areas. Even if a storm is far away from landfall, your business may have supply chain problems when it has ties to areas prone to hurricanes.
Keep an eye on the weather during hurricane season, which peaks in mid-August in North America. Then, remain aware of freight facilities like ports or warehouses you rely on that may be in regions susceptible to flooding. Don’t forget main transportation routes that are vulnerable to flood waters. Washed-out roads and highway closures are likely to occur.
When you take into consideration the potential storm damage in an area, you can better plan supply chain options that keep your business running.
2. Stock Up on Supplies
Those who live where hurricanes are common understand the importance of stocking up on supplies as part of storm preparation. This critical concept is no different for business owners that rely on a supply chain. However, the focus should be on important inventory and goods rather than water, flashlights, and a generator.
When hurricane season looms, make sure you stock up on extra inventory in anticipation of possible supply chain disruptions. Sometimes this strategy works better for certain businesses. For example, perishable goods may not store well long-term without extra refrigeration resources, while dry good inventory like clothing, paper supplies, or auto parts do not need special accommodations for storage.
Fortunately, you can still stock up on emergency inventory supplies when you have a back-up plan for your supply chain.
3. Create a Back-Up Plan
You may need to quickly transfer or relocate inventory, equipment, or supplies in the event hurricane approaches. Some facilities or transportation routes may be in high-risk areas. For this reason, the creation of a back-up plan is necessary before landfall occurs.
To keep your operation running as smoothly as possible, consider temporary warehouse services to protect goods in the path of the storm, or to store goods in a safer area while they await transportation.
Additionally, arrange alternate suppliers in the event your usual methods cannot function well during the hurricane or once the storm is over. Keep in mind the availability of air and ground vehicles and especially fuel as supplies often run low before, during, and after an emergency. Don’t forget to take into account road conditions as you navigate a back-up plan for routes, ports, warehouses, and other facilities.
Finally, you may need to temporarily increase or switch production to facilities outside the realm of a hurricane’s influence. Remember to develop these and other back-up plans as far in advance as possible as providers need adequate preparation time along each part of a complicated supply chain.
Tri Star Freight System, Inc., offers additional ways to hurricane-proof your precious supply and freight chain for your business. We have a range of transportation options such as flatbed and container trucking as well as drayage services, an important link in supply chain process. Contact us for more information about our shipping, trucking, and warehousing choices across several major cities.