Hurricane Season 2023 begins in June and runs through the end of November. Although this season is expected to be slightly less active than previous years, it doesn’t hurt to take precautions and implement best practices to prepare for the disruptions weather disasters can bring.
According to this study published by Colorado State University, the U.S. is predicted to experience six hurricanes, 25 days of hurricane activity, 13 named storms, and 55 days of ’named storm activity’ this year. These projected totals are slightly below average.
Hurricanes can bring fierce winds and flooding that damage infrastructure and physical assets. Often in the face of this risk, manufacturers or shipping facilities will shut down operations to avoid jeopardizing the safety of employees and company property.
On the carrier side of inclement weather, drivers usually either refuse to go to high-risk markets during storm activity or demand much higher rates in order to do so.
While there are many challenges associated with managing your supply chain through hurricane season, there are steps you can take that will ensure operations run as smoothly as possible during severe weather events.
Preparing Your Supply Chain for Hurricane Season 2023
There is a plethora of proactive solutions shippers with supply chain operations on the East Coast and Southern coastal areas can take to prepare for this year’s hurricane season.
It is best that you understand your unique supply chain needs before taking on preparatory initiatives. We aim to suggest a wide berth of actions that shippers can take; however, effective solutions hinge on your individual supply chain needs.
Purchasing insurance remains the most overt solution to prepping your business for natural disasters. There are a few different varieties of insurance that we recommend to companies. Flood or hurricane insurance can help you restore damaged supply chain assets in case of a severe storm. And as added protection, your organization can purchase business interruption coverage, which can cover you for lost sales during a disruption.
Utilize Drop Trailers
A drop trailer refers to a shipping strategy in which a carrier drops a trailer at a facility to be unloaded or loaded and picked up at a later date. This strategy can be especially helpful if you have supply chain partners outside the natural disaster path.
If your logistics provider can arrange drop trailer execution, it can offer beneficial protection against a massive storm.
Increase Visibility with Technology
During times of crisis, like a hurricane, having real-time access to tracking information, carriers, suppliers, and inventory counts will help you identify any storm-related issues that need to be addressed.
A transportation partner should utilize the most advanced visibility and traceability technology.
Know Your Business
If a hurricane affects your area, will your customers panic-buy? Or will parts of your business be forced to scale back to avoid storm damage?
Accurately forecasting consumption patterns in the face of a large-scale disruption may be a challenge. However, it is a critical step to understanding how your order volume and velocity will change. Look at past events for precedence as to how your operation shifted during similar circumstances.
Gauging how your order volume will change will allow for production and supply chain procedures to follow suit.
Analyze the Capabilities of Others in Your Supply Chain
Will warehousing stay online or will workers be impacted? Are your facilities safe from the predicted hurricane? If parts of your supply chain are adversely affected, how will this impact production and inventory? It takes an accurate gauge of both an order influx and an understanding of your supply chain to prepare for disruption adequately.
Communicate with Supply Chain Partners
No detail about your operation is too small to share with your logistics partners when services are disrupted. Let partners know when you receive orders, where they are going, and when they are due. These details should be communicated as early and as often as possible to give your supply chain partners enough lead time to deal with anything that falls outside your typical order cadence.
This principle becomes even more important if your orders are going to a retail customer with a scorecard or strict appointment guidelines.
Work with a Proactive Logistics Solutions Provider
Overall, the best way to create a plan for your supply chain is to work with a proactive logistics solutions provider.
Zipline Logistics can help even multibillion-dollar businesses prepare for supply chain uncertainty. We believe in creating seamless partnerships that help our customers excel in difficult circumstances.
Partnering with Zipline, you can expect:
- Quick responses to questions and requests
- Proactive solutions to unexpected problems
- Not just taking orders, but offering optimized options (modes, routing, etc.)
- Regular and thorough communication
- Order visibility and spend transparency
- Upfront honesty
- Follow through on commitments
- A company culture that rewards accountability and communication
Interested in learning more about what we can do for you?