- American Express Open Forum
In the wake of extensive hurricane damage, companies across the U.S. are experiencing shipping problems. Try these steps to help safeguard your business.
In addition to wreaking havoc on those living in the affected areas, recent hurricanes have created a domino effect for companies. Weather-related shipping problems have slowed down business nationwide.
“When it comes to natural disasters and the impact on shipping and business, the back-to-back nature and power of the two recent storms—Irma and Harvey—are like nothing we've seen in the past century," believes Tim Story, executive vice president of freight operations for Unishippers. The company is a third-party logistics company that services thousands of small- to medium-sized businesses nationwide.
“The storms have resulted in a severely damaged transport infrastructure," Story says. “That includes bridges, rail lines and roads across Florida, Georgia and [Texas]. But the impact is not limited to those areas. Every state is experiencing the results of delays and backlogs."
With brick-and-mortar retail closures at an all-time high, it's already a challenging time for businesses, according to Marc Gorlin, founder and CEO of Roadie, an app-based service that features “on-the-way" delivery that enables businesses to use vacant space in passenger vehicles to transport products.
Assure your customers that you're working hard to resume business as usual.
—Marc Gorlin, CEO, Roadie
“Retailers are desperate to compete in an environment where margins are already razor-thin and customers have come to expect free same-day and next-day shipping and delivery," says Gorlin. “Obviously, devastating events such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma add to that stress. Stalls, lost shipments and blocked shipping routes cause a ripple effect that impacts every part of a business."