The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. Because these super-storms wreak havoc to the nation’s infrastructure, shippers should prepare for weather-related disruptions. Past hurricanes have opened shipper’s eyes, as disruptions in delivery, tracking and safety have caused significant problems.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy triggered one of the worst transportation disasters in US history. Many New York and New Jersey ports remained open so shippers could get their containers to safe ground. Despite these efforts, more than 15,000 containers were lost and 16,000 new vehicles shipped in were flooded. Shippers lost products and realized the significance of planning for possible disruptions.
When a storm is predicted to make landfall, the transportation industry experiences:
- Increased demand and rates on spot shipments.
- Reduced rates by carriers who are looking to get their equipment out of the area.
- Disrupted capacity, routes and service.
The aftermath of a hurricane often leaves shipments delayed. Shipments are stopped due to port closings, motionless commercial traffic, evacuations and road closures due to flooding, down power lines and limited communication.
The most important tips for shippers to consider during hurricane season are:
- Current Event Information. If your shipments travel through hurricane-prone territory, follow the news and National Hurricane Center’s website for updates.
- Plan Ahead. Shippers realize that a hurricane that makes landfall can cause destruction. These storms can interrupt business for days or weeks. Talk to carriers, suppliers and receivers about the status of your shipment and any possible delays.
- Talk to Your 3PL. Take advantage of your 3PL’s carrier network when capacity is scarce. Your 3PL has a team of experts who can help you strategize for future disruptions and all of your transportation needs.
Preparation is essential for post-storm recovery. At PLS Logistics Services, we use our decades of experience to effectively manage, move and optimize your supply chain. As partners, we will organize solutions for any unexpected transportation challenges.