When Storms Rage: How to Protect Your Supply Chain from Natural Disasters

Hurricane, Supply Chain Natural Disaster

Natural Disasters Impact Supply Chains across the Nation

Hurricane Season is shaping up to be among the most active and most destructive in recent memory. With Texas still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, the Caribbean and much of the Southeastern U.S. has been battered by Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in history. And more storms loom behind it.

According to Moody’s Analytics, the economic damage created by Hurricane Harvey has risen to $75 billion, “which includes property damage and lost economic output.” Even more alarming, freight research firm FTR Transportation Intelligence reports that “Hurricane Harvey’s broad swath across Texas will strongly affect over 7% of U.S. trucking over the next month and beyond.”

Natural disasters impact supply chains

Given the absolute necessity of clear and safe infrastructure for shippers, a disruption as big as Hurricane Harvey or Irma can create utter chaos for your business.  Shippers need to have a well-formed business continuity plan to prepare their employees and their business before a natural disaster.

There are several measures you can take to be prepared:

Supply Chain, MercuryGate

Seek out your partners

One of the more critical functions of a supply chain manager is maintaining good partnerships with others in the industry. In these situations, those forged alliances can offer viable incentives. Logistics service providers (LSPs) have a much-needed skill to find capacity and the right solution in times like this to help you move your freight to its final destination.

Whether working with an LSP or on your own, a Transportation Management System (TMS) can be one of the most powerful tools to help you navigate disruptions. A TMS can make your relationships more strategic as it provides a way to communicate and provide guidance.

Ensure total visibility

Tools like a TMS will help you gain complete transparency over your entire supply chain and give you the ability to collaborate with your entire organization from one application.

During times of crises, such as a hurricane, having real-time access to tracking information, carriers, suppliers and even inventory will give a sense of calm that you have every detail covered. The MercuryGate TMS is especially adept in that it allows visibility at multiple levels of detail even down to where something is at a SKU level.

Now is the time to create a plan to protect your employees and your supply chain from a natural disaster. Contact us today to request a demo of the MercuryGate TMS to learn more about how it can help your organization prepare for future disasters.

Supply Chain Disruptions, MercuryGate
Supply Chain Natural Disasters, MercuryGate TMS

Create a plan before it’s needed

Create a business continuity process now with designated points of contact should a natural disaster occur. For instance, pre-plan for any added costs that may have to be approved, which 3PLs will be available to assist, and any operational necessities that may come with a natural disaster.

A TMS optimization tool is a great ally as you can do what- if scenario planning then save the orders in case they need to be executed later if the disaster strikes. But make sure to get your plan reviewed and approved by all required parties. In doing so, you avoid potential gaps during an emergency that will hinder your company from moving forward.