Disaster Planning: TMS Makes Your Transportation Program a Hard Target

Does your transportation program have a disaster recovery strategy?  Should it?  The answer should be a resounding “YES!”   But if you don’t have even a basic plan for protecting business continuity during unforeseen times of trauma, your business could take a serious beating when these events inevitably occur. The US Department of Energy reported that more electricity customers experienced outages during 2012’s Hurricane Sandy than any such prior storm – even more than Katrina.  With the frequency of disasters, both natural and man-made, on the rise, it is critical that all facets of businesses across every industry be prepared for the inevitable.

Transportation is particularly vulnerable to disruptions because by its very nature transportation is mobile.  Sure, earthquakes and tsunamis may disrupt business in the West, hurricanes in the Southeast, and tornadoes in the Midwest. Terrorist attacks and/or large scale nuclear or industrial accidents can happen anywhere at random.  But transportation organizations typically move products to-from and through all these areas.  So no matter where the tragedy unfolds, transportation will need to be able to adapt quickly.

It is not enough to have a disaster recovery/business continuity plan in place for your organization’s operations.  It makes sense to have one that encompasses the shipping/transportation portion of your business.  Perhaps the best way to protect your transportation function is to use a best-in-class TMS system.  The flexibility a well-implemented TMS offers enables a company to find alternative routes and carriers on the fly should certain lanes or locations be impassible due to disasters.  Furthermore, the cloud-based TMS models allow for logistics and transportation managers to work from virtually anywhere in instances where offices are inaccessible or otherwise damaged.

Lastly, shippers should investigate the disaster recovery practices of the TMS providers they select to be certain their provider has robust redundancy and fail-overs in place should their data centers be damaged or knocked offline.  UltraShipTMS maintained a perfect, zero-downtime record during Hurricane Sandy, even as much of the locale was under water and/or without power.  Does your transportation program have a plan for when disaster strikes?

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