CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
November 16, 2018
Forward Thinking

How to prepare your supply chain for a hurricane

Comment
New report from DHL offers tips for "battening down the hatches" when your supply chain is threatened by a major storm.

With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the southeastern coast of the United States, supply chain professionals may want to look at a new report by logistics service provider DHL that outlines hurricane preparedness advice for the supply chain.

"Hurricane Peak Season: What to Expect in 2018" advises companies to monitor weather forecasts closely. Hurricane paths can now be forecast with much greater accuracy, allowing companies to stock up on essential materials and supplies at sites that may be affected before the storm hits. In addition to their own inventory and supplies, companies should also have backup generators and fuel at these sites. 

Each site should also have a business continuity plan in place that includes potential alternative suppliers, alternative routes to and from the site, and key contacts. The company should also set up a process for identifying priority shipments as well alternative communication systems—such as emergency alerts, CB radios, and social networks—both for employees and customers.

In addition to these short-term measures, the report suggests that companies:

  • Use mapping tools to identify potential risks and interdependencies in their supply chain down to the level of their suppliers' suppliers.
  • Establish alternative suppliers, production facilities, and warehouses outside of high-risk areas. By diversifying manufacturing and distribution locations, companies will be able to better ensure that they will not be completely shut down if they are hit by a natural disaster. In addition to identifying these alternatives suppliers and sites, companies should have alternative transportation routes in place.
  • Strengthen your relationships with logistics suppliers. Companies that have a strong connection to their logistics providers will have a better chance of securing capacity once the storm abates.

The report was written by DHL's Resilience360 division, which provides a cloud-based solution that helps companies manage supply chain risk and visualize, track, and protect their business operations.

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