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With more hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons expected in 2020, it is important to have plans in place to ensure supply-chain continuity and operational resilience.

The 2020 hurricane/cyclone/typhoon season has arrived in force with Cyclone Amphan in the Bay of Bengal. The typhoon caused widespread damage in eastern India and Bangladesh during 16-21 May 2020. It was the first super-cyclonic storm to occur in the Bay of Bengal since the 1999 and was also the costliest cyclone ever recorded in the North Indian Ocean.

According to a report by Resilience 360, we can expect a stormy season elsewhere. In the Atlantic basin, the season began on 1 June and continues until 30 November, with a peak in September. According to forecasters at DHL’s Resilience360, this year in the Atlantic is expected to exceed the average frequency of 108 storms with 125-150 storms anticipated. The reason for this is because of an active La Niña effect. Conversely, the frequency of storms in the western Pacific basin is expected to be lower because of the El Niño effect which will mean less disruption to ports and airports in China and east Asia. The Resilience360 report can be found here.

These storms will test even the resiliency of supply chains. Aircraft routing and shipping journeys can expect to be disrupted with consequential delays in cargo despatch and arrival. Serendipitously, long transit times for shipping can act as a buffer to supply shocks. However, the storms can affect weather patterns far removed from the epicentre so the disruption can be widespread. Businesses without access to robust, accurate and timely predictive analytics may not have the needed agility to prepare for the looming threat of the hurricane season. Techniques centred around stockpiling and having a diversity of suppliers from different regions are favoured.

This article first appeared in a Resilience First newsletter in May (available only to members).


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