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Retail’s New Grinch: A Sandy-Snarled Supply Chain

Retailers scrambled before hurricane Sandy to make sure they rerouted merchandise and locked down stores ““ but what comes after? This article by Courtney Reagan looks at how the busiest time for retailers is being affected by the destruction caused during Sandy's landfall. In particular, the article explains how supply chains have been “snarled” and are still working to straighten themselves out after the storm. Retail supply chains are working at catching back up to the point before the storm, even as citizens and retail locations are getting back to business as usual. The reason being that supply chains depend on a flow of operation, and once that operation is slowed or stopped, the effects are felt for long after the incident that caused them. Consider the insight provided by Chris Merritt: Chris Merritt, vice president of Supply Chain Solutions for Ryder said, “Our distribution operations in the impacted area that support retail clients are now all back up and running and we are working with clients to get the right product into stores in time for Black Friday. However, in general, there is a backup of product in motion, whether it be at the ports or in distribution centers. With that, it will be a challenge for stores to take a week's worth of inventory in a day. So there are still risks for shortages on the shelf.” Other supply chain companies feeling the pressure of Sandy include FedEx, who have reached almost normal pickup and delivery services (though there are still local delays). Eastern Railroad also experienced significant difficulties, noting that they saw a drop of around 14 percent in total traffic due to the storm.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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