Hurricane Patricia – the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the western hemisphere – made landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico on Friday, October 23rd, around 6:15 p.m. local time. The supply chain event impact, while still being assessed, clearly can be characterized as minor, especially when compared to relatively recent historic extreme weather events such as Hurricane’s Katrina and Sandy and other “acts of god’ such as the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the Thailand floods of 2011. It is nevertheless significant as it represents the first weather event with the potential to impact supply chains that can be definitively linked to the El Niño weather pattern.
While weather conditions for vessels operating in the Panama Canal recently improved, it may still be too soon to predict the final supply chains impacts which companies that depend on the canal face as a result of El Niño.
Based on recent El Niño-related weather developments in the Pacific Ocean, some reports indicate that this El Niño could rank as the strongest on record. Companies with operations in the Panama Canal may consider proactive measures to prevent supply chain disruptions and delays throughout the duration of El Niño, set to last until early Spring 2016.1
Introduction: We recently published our El Niño Supply Chain Impact Analysis entitled El Niño: A Test of CPO Leadership and Your Supply Chain Resiliency Culture. Even our creative supply chain impact analysis experts didn’t anticipate forest fires and resulting air quality issues as one of the impacts to consider. The geographic scope of the impact (i.e. across country borders), is another surprising revelation. Here’s what’s going on in Southeast Asia right now and some takeaways for enterprises that have a manufacturing presence in the region.