Sandy is going to affect holiday shopping… I know, you probably say that with many people without houses this is a very minor issues, but not if you livelihood depends on sales you are making during the holidays season.
When a hurricane hits, of course, there is the usual shutting down of shipping terminal and submerged warehouses. Due to the extreme nature of the storm, we saw deliveries being disrupted due to downed power lines, closed roads and scarce gasoline. All of these cause delays that affect every business, but the NY Times article “A Storm-Battered Supply Chain Threatens Holiday Shopping“ brings an interesting angle on the effect of these disruptions on small business, and especially due to the proximity to the holiday season. The article tells the story of Robert Van Sickle
His pet supply company, Polka Dog Bakery, was relying on a shipment of cardboard tubes from China with a merry design, intended to hold popular holiday dog treats. The products represent about 15 percent of sales at the company. But the New York Container Terminal in Staten Island, where the tubes arrived shortly before the storm, was devastated, and Mr. Van Sickle’s freight forwarder has been unable to track down the containers. It is too late to reorder the tubes from China in time for the holidays, and Mr. Van Sickle has tens of thousands of baked dog treats piled up at his Boston headquarters.