The Northeast supply chain industry saw a loss of at least a billion dollars as a result of the massive storm last month, according to IHS Global Insight. But according to the National Retail Association and Hacket Associates, imports to major container ports should actually be up by 5.9 percent this month compared to last year.
This country appears to have built an extremely robust supply chain industry.
Ocean carriers responded rather quickly by diverting ships to other ports. Many shippers were able to get their holiday shipments over to the East Coast ahead of schedule, before the superstorm hit. This may be due, in part, to fears of labor strikes on the horizon.
In the wake of the storm, freight resumed work quickly, in some cases so quickly that businesses who had been hit by the storm weren’t yet ready for their deliveries.
The response to the storm has proven that, while short term supply chain problems are vulnerable to the weather, the logistics industry is also skilled at bouncing back. By taking advantage of resource tracking and predictive technologies, it appears to be reacting and rebounding faster than ever.
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By Anya Ciecierski, CAL Business Solutions, www.calszone.com