The Atlantic hurricane season began in early June and runs through the end of November. Right in the middle of the season, Hurricane Harvey has made his appearance hitting the Texas coastline with fury. Experts predict that Hurricane Harvey could be the largest hurricane that can touchdown on US soil in almost 12 years. Hurricane Harvey is already being compared, in terms of potential devastation, to Hurricane Katerina that hit the US back in 2005.
Texas has issued evacuation orders to various counties throughout the state due to severe flooding and other risks. Hurricane Harvey is causing a huge disruption to shippers and carriers in every industry as airports, seaports, and ground freight are shutting down. Even if you don’t have operations in Texas, it doesn’t mean that you are not going to be impacted by the storm. Other US areas are impacted as well as emergency freight is being used to help compensate for this natural disaster. In addition to this, it’s impacting oil price futures, which are expected to rise.
Regardless of your location in the US, you may directly or indirectly be impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Mitigating this risk in the biopharma realm is critical. In order to do so, it is important to work with your supply chain partners by doing the following:
- Raise concerns: If you have a concern with shipments, reach out to you supply chain partner. Although, your supply chain partner is most likely going to reaching out with concerns, delays, and updates. It doesn’t hurt to communicate back. If you have concerns raise them, they can help alleviate uncertainty.
- Recognition of your Supply Chain, beyond logistics: Did you know that with the petrochemical market that has a huge presence in the Gulf States, any chemicals that are by-products of the petrochemical market may be impacted. It is important to recognize that many small specialty chemical manufacturers and repackagers actually purchase from some of these very base manufacturers in bulk. Coastal devastation such as what is potentially occurring with Hurricane Harvey could disrupt suppliers from getting key components or raw materials.
- Check communication: As mentioned on the previous note, your supply chain partner is going to be communicating with you about any issues that might arise.
- Be Empathetic: Hurricane Harvey is impacting tens of thousands of people in addition to a slew of businesses. If an issue arises because of the hurricane, work with your supply chain partner to come up with the best solutions.
Understand your Risk: If you are unsure of any risk of exposure, reach out to your suppliers. Ask for updates on critical raw materials and the supply chain. Be ready to recognize that if you are impacted by this event, what options do you have for alternative second sourcing. How well you are positioned under these circumstances will be a good predictor of your overall supply chain risk.