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Rough Weather and the Supply Chain

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are just two of the mega storms that wreaked havoc for many apparel retailers and consumers this year. Consumers get hit hard because they can't buy the things they need on regular schedules and retailers suffer because bad weather creates delays in their logistics processes. Fortunately, third-party logistics (3PL) providers can fill the void by meeting customer expectations and easing one of the major stresses their clients face.

Changing Points of Origin May Be a Viable Solution

supply chain portAfter significant storms hit, supply chain members sometimes realize the usual routes they'd depend on to ship clothing and other goods are flooded and won't be accessible for days. Following Hurricane Harvey, some manufacturers and retailers compensated by changing their points of origin when sending out shipments. That approach allowed them to bypass some of the blocked routes, but it also changed the supply and demand balance that already existed in the affected region.

Whether you ship clothing by the truckload, inside of mailed parcels, or through another method, working with a 3PL provider that handles supply chain management can give you necessary peace of mind. Depend on your provider to assist you in getting products to their destinations when bad weather strikes.

Consider Receiving Inbound Shipments From Unaffected Areas

If the main problem is you can't get inbound shipments of raw apparel materials or other items related to clothing, it may be worthwhile to temporarily depend on suppliers located outside of areas that are not coping with the harsh effects of severe weather. Your chosen 3PL company can even handle international shipping concerns, in case you need to get hard-to-find materials from another country until the aftermath from a storm becomes less of a burden on your business operations.

Realize That Heavy Flooding Is an Ongoing Concern

Although you may be under the impression the massively destructive hurricane season we've seen this year represents the bulk of the bad conditions you'll likely see while operating an apparel business, that's probably untrue. Analysts warn that climate change is already causing heavier-than-normal rainfall in many regions of the United States.

If you haven't already taken precautionary measures to safeguard your supply chain from the potential effects of flooding, consult your 3PL company. Then, you can get advice about how to do what's within your control to minimize the hindrance to your workflow.

Besides looking at ways to move goods in and out without damaging them, don't forget to also figure out how your logistics team members can travel to and from work even if the roads get flooded. Taking that step may require talking to local officials about alternative routes workers can use.

Be Honest About Possible Setbacks

When speaking with your customers, it's crucial to honestly describe the things you have done to minimize supply chain problems due to bad weather. During those conversations, be sure to also bring up the fact that you may not be able to guarantee arrival times if inclement conditions cause delays.

Do you feel unprepared to deal with environmental-related problems that could affect your apparel supply chain? Get in touch with a representative from The Apparel Logistics Group by filling out a consultation form .

Posted: 11/16/2017 3:21:12 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments


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