When Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New England on October 29, 2012, the staff at Jarrett Logistics Systems had already spent countless hours preparing for possible scenarios and anticipating the needs of our clients. With Hurricane Sandy’s impact felt from Florida to Maine and across the Appalachian Mountains over into Michigan and Wisconsin, Jarrett Logistics Systems had 135 customer locations affected by Hurricane Sandy with 28 locations directly in the hurricane path. To prepare individual locations for the potential effects of the hurricane, the customer account teams at JLS began by analyzing what freight could be shifted into other warehouses and what the long term financial impact would be to our customers. On Tuesday, October 30th, logistics coordinators began identifying locations affected by reaching out to individual client facilities.
It became apparent that locations in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Delaware, Rhode Island, and New York would be out of commission for days or possibly weeks. These locations soon became closed indefinitely and customer service functions were shifted to states across the United States that were not as impacted. Not only did it impact our customers, but our partner carriers were also closed and trying to assess the damage to their terminals and equipment . Newark, New Jersey was heavily hit. One or our clients maintained a shipping location in the area where severe flooding occurred. For the next few weeks we communicated with their corporate office in Ohio. We inquired about when we could resume full operations for shipping, what hours their warehouse would be able to operate and if there were any other ways we could assist them. This same process occurred for numerous client facilities in the region . In order to provide the most current information to these clients, logistics coordinators prepared reports with shipments affected and updated these reports hourly to our customers. Information included what main roads were closed in the affected states, where power outages were and when power companies anticipated restoration. It also included which locations were declared disaster zones and the impact this would have. We also reported as to which deliveries were being attempted, what consignee locations were closed, what shipments would be delayed, what was being done to maintain customer service for affected locations. These reports were generated and relayed until every shipment affected by Hurricane Sandy was delivered. For weeks, logistics coordinators were creative on how to service our customers.
With power out, locations were attempting to ship but they had no way of generating their shipping documents . Our coordinators were able to generate the shipping documents, coordinate pickups in heavily damaged areas, fax paperwork to freight terminals and have freight picked up and transferred when our clients assumed it was not possible. When life seemed to return to normal on the east coast, a group of logistics coordinators and managers made site visits to the affected locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland to evaluate what long standing impact would be, how to move forward and any outstanding needs that were magnified by the hurricane.