Severe weather events is expected to continue increasing in 2022
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a 65% chance for above-average activity in the 2022 hurricane season. Their forecast is for between 14 and 21 named storms, which means winds of 39 mph or more, from June 1 through November 30. Six to 10 could potentially become hurricanes – and as many as half of those could be major hurricanes. If their predictions turn into reality, this will be the 7th year in a row we’ll experience higher than normal activity. In other parts of the world, the year has already seen devastating weather events. On the east coast of South Africa, a two day rainstorm dropped almost as much rain as the region normally would get in a year – leading to devastating floods and landslides.
Of course, any weather can lead to delays – severe thunderstorms, dense fog and blizzards can divert or ground airplanes and make driving conditions dangerous. In June, for instance, severe storms in parts of Germany uprooted trees, flooded cellars and dumped so much hail in one village that roads were blocked. It’s not just weather that might cause disruptions. Political unrest and war, natural disasters and, as we all now know, public health crises can all have an impact.
Some delays are simply inconvenient, but others can be devastating. That’s why The Quick Group has always taken the approach of expecting the unexpected. We recently sat down with our most seasoned logistics experts to talk about what it takes to be prepared for anything. That includes giving our customers access to thorough contingency planning, experienced logistics expertise and the industry’s most advanced technology.
Plan A, B and C
To ensure your critical shipments are delivered on time and with the greatest care, our logistics experts start with the best and safest routing and transportation options. Our Enterprise system provides Sterling’s global operations team with the most current data on potential weather events, flight status and load, traffic patterns, etc. With that, we make a secondary contingency plan to manage unexpected delays – weather-related or otherwise. For example, if the ideal route is one direct flight, the backup plan may include flying part of the way and driving the rest. We don’t stop there. We also always have a tertiary contingency plan – and that ‘Plan C’ is essential because, as we all know – weather (or life, for that matter!) is unpredictable and doesn’t always follow the expected path. To help make well-informed decisions about backup plans, we have conversations with all our key stakeholders, including airlines, our global network of service providers and partners, and our operations and business continuity teams worldwide. Our executive management is also in constant communication with one another to discuss weather and other events likely to impact delivery.
24/7 Access to Decades of Global Logistics Experience
With more than 40 years of mission-critical logistics experience behind us, Sterling has teams of seasoned experts located all over the world who specialize in healthcare, life sciences, aviation and high tech, among other highly specialized industries. That means you always have access to a knowledgeable resource who can support you in everything from regulatory and customs compliance to temperature control and packaging to dangerous goods handling and more.
When we know bad weather is coming, we take steps to make sure we have adequate staff to deliver guidance and logistics management you need. In some cases, we might relocate employees from one office to another so you can connect to the people you are accustomed to working with. Today, much of our staff can also work remotely. If these options don’t work, we reroute calls to other call centers, so there is never any disruption to your service.
Our customer relationship managers also communicate directly with our customers when weather or other global events may cause a delay to keep you updated on what’s happening and what Sterling is doing to stay ahead of the situation.
What makes our people even more efficient is our leading technology tools, including QuickOnline 2.0. Our most recent release of this next-generation logistics software makes placing orders faster and cuts down on the risk of errors with a more intuitive design. This helps us get shipments moving even earlier, which can be key when trying to outpace weather.
We also collect data from multiple sources and feed that into the system, so customers – and Sterling – have an up-to-the-minute status of where shipments are at all times. This includes:
- A new feature in the vendor mobile app that allows drivers to share their location when they are on their way to pick up or deliver a shipment
- Using partners’ APIs, Sterling can also integrate GPS devices and Smart Packaging information directly into QuickOnline 2.0
- An interactive map and a milestone timeline provide a visual snapshot of where shipments are at all times
- Live airline data provides status on delays, actual departures and real-time location of planes in flight
You can even give your key partners access to the platform, helping increase transparency for everyone across the supply chain.
No matter the forecast, we will deliver!
Here’s just one example of how Sterling made sure the impossible happened, even with an approaching hurricane and in the midst of COVID-19. There are also measures you can take to protect your business. Learn more about what steps you can take to protect your company in this blog from Josh Gilmore, Senior VP of Global Operations. Or download our 8 Tips for Business Continuity Planning. Also, stay up-to-date on global events and travel disruptions with our service alerts.
 NOAA predicts above-normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, NOAA, May 24, 2022: https://www.noaa.gov/news-release/noaa-predicts-above-normal-2022-atlantic-hurricane-season
 Climate change made extreme rains in 2022 South Africa floods ‘twice as likely’, CarbonBrief, May 13, 2022: https://www.carbonbrief.org/climate-change-made-extreme-rains-in-2022-south-africa-floods-twice-as-likely/ Hailstones pile up as heavy storms hit Germany, Euronews, June 6, 2022: https://www.euronews.com/2022/06/06/hailstones-pile-up-as-heavy-storms-hit-germany