Supply Chain Storm Resiliency and Preparedness
As our environment absorbs the impacts of worldwide climate change, destructive storms are becoming more frequent. Extreme storms are already stressful to consumers due to the heightened risk of floods, power outages, and home damage. But consumers are also feeling the stressful effects of climate disruptions hampering the activities of our already fragile supply chains. As enterprises continue to harden and streamline their business processes to protect against future disruptions, supply chain storm resiliency efforts must remain near the top of the list.
Global supply chains are still striving to recuperate from the impacts of the ongoing pandemic and the increase in consumer demand. Climate change-driven storms, and their potential to snarl up the supply chain, adds new potential hurdles to the equation — and yet, consumers still expect packages to be delivered on time and nearby store shelves to be amply stocked. A Harvard Business Review study of thousands of production sites in the U.S., China, and Taiwan revealed that only 11 percent of sites in the three countries are prepared for climate-related disruptions. It is imperative that manufacturers, retailers, and logistics companies take steps to enhance their supply chain storm resiliency and protect against future disruptions:
- Make necessary resiliency infrastructure upgrades
- Optimize route planning in the event of weather-related issues
- Identify secondary and tertiary suppliers for materials
- Consider investments in climate-monitoring tools and technologies
- Put business continuity plans in place — and expect suppliers to do the same
Infrastructure Investments to Build Storm Resiliency
When Hurricane Sandy hit the coasts of New York and New Jersey in 2012, it was a wake-up call for many. The Red Hook Container Terminal at The Port of New York and New Jersey reported that they were unable to receive any cargo until eight days after Sandy hit due to warehouse flooding and other issues. To prepare for future storms, some tenants of the port made and continue to invest in critical upgrades to their infrastructure:
- Enhancements in drainage infrastructure
- Building up land in certain facilities to protect against flooding
- Working with local partners, such as utility companies, to devise plans for storm-related outages
Optimized route planning involves finding the most efficient path for delivery personnel to get shipments from point A to point B quickly and without disruption. Whether it be by cargo ship, plane, train, or truck, using route optimization tools in conjunction with weather monitoring can help shippers plan the best route with the least disruption before the delivery ever leaves the warehouse — minimizing the risk of delivery delays caused by severe weather.
Secondary and Tertiary Suppliers
As the industry was reminded during the onset and peak of the pandemic, it is important for manufacturers and retailers to have backup plans in the event that a materials or product supplier is impacted by an unforeseen disaster. Creating relationships with secondary and even tertiary suppliers that can step in and fulfill orders is critical to the success of the supply chain in the event and aftermath of a crisis.
Companies looking to increase supply chain resiliency and protect against disruptions can also use lightweight plastic pallets from iGPS. Their incorporated RFID tracking technology makes them more traceable and readable by automated systems as they are moving through the supply chain.
Severe weather events and the disruptions they cause are inevitable — and according to some sources, the problem is worsening worldwide. Taking mindful steps to build supply chain storm resiliency, especially as businesses continue to recover from pandemic-related interruptions, is vital for long-term prosperity.
Companies committed to enhancing supply chain storm resiliency use iGPS plastic pallets for all their shipping needs. Our lightweight, recyclable pallet pooling solutions can help reduce disruptions caused by climate change. For more information, contact us at 1-866-557-0047, email a specialist at [email protected], or visit our contact page.