1. Climate Resilience: Mitigating Risks in the Face of Extreme Weather Events

    In recent years, the world has witnessed a surge in extreme weather events, reshaping the global supply chain landscape. Hurricanes, typhoons, floods, wildfires, and polar vortexes not only disrupt logistics but also pose substantial threats to vessel safety and cargo integrity. However, it’s not just maritime routes that are at risk.  Warehouses housing crucial inventory are also vulnerable to the impacts of these weather events.

    The source of risk for these supply chains is an elaborate amalgamation of factors: a rapidly increasing complexity, shorter product life cycles and surging demands, the vast web of globalization and extended supply chains, coupled with the inadequate risk analysis and decision-support models. Understanding the distinct risks each extreme weather event presents is crucial for effective risk mitigation. Let’s review each of these challenges and explore proactive measures for climate risk mitigation, including the static risks posed to warehouses and their inventory.

    Weather Events

    Hurricanes / Typhoons

    Maritime routes often intersect with regions prone to hurricanes and typhoons. These weather phenomena bring not only strong winds and heavy rainfall but also heightened sea levels, leading to potential vessel damage and cargo loss. Additionally, warehouses located in coastal areas are susceptible to flooding and wind damage, putting inventory at risk of damage or destruction.


    Floods pose a dual threat: damaging warehouses and disrupting transportation networks, intensifying supply chain vulnerabilities. Roads, bridges, and rail lines become impassable, halting the flow of goods. Floodwaters also infiltrate critical facilities, causing equipment and inventory damage, highlighting the importance of proactive flood risk mitigation for both maritime and warehouse operations.


    While wildfires primarily impact ecosystems, they can also disrupt supply chains, especially in regions heavily reliant on overland transportation. As became evident not so many years ago, facilities such as wineries and storage facilities near wildfire-prone areas face the risk of damage or destruction, affecting the safety and integrity of goods and stored inventory.

    Frozen Seas

    Extreme cold, embodied by polar vortexes, poses unique challenges to maritime traffic. Frozen waterways and icy conditions can impede maritime traffic, leading to delays and potential cargo loss. Warehouses located in cold climates must also contend with risks such as roof snow load, frozen pipes, and equipment malfunction, which can compromise inventory integrity.

    Our Proactive Stance: Crafting Climate Resilience

    At the forefront of the maritime and supply chain industries, embracing a proactive stance isn’t just about recognizing challenges; it’s about implementing actionable, real-world solutions that safeguard against the unpredictability of extreme weather events. Drawing inspiration from the trusted advisory role modeled by companies like EIMC and Engle Martin, we propose a hands-on, practical approach to climate resilience across four key areas, addressing risks to goods in transit and at rest (in storage):  

    1. Forecasting and Analytics:

    Insight: MunichRE estimates that weather-related events contributed 78% to worldwide economic losses between 1980 and 2014. [1]

    Action: Embrace technological advances in weather forecasting, partnering with meteorological experts to leverage real-time data and predictive analytics.

    Actionable Implementation:

    Partner closely with meteorological tech firms to integrate advanced weather tracking and forecasting tools directly into your operational systems, enabling real-time decision-making.

    Develop proprietary analytics models that use historical data to predict future weather patterns, optimizing your preparedness for adverse conditions.

    Train your team in interpreting weather data and making swift adjustments to operations, enhancing your adaptive capacity, including safeguarding warehouses and inventory.

    2. Dynamic Route Planning:

    Insight: The Global Maritime Forum, Marsh, and the International Union of Marine Insurance highlight environmental factors as highly likely to happen, with severe impacts and low levels of preparedness.

    Action: Shift from static route planning to dynamic planning that considers real-time weather updates, optimizing fuel consumption and reducing emissions.

    Actionable Implementation:

    Implement AI-driven route optimization software that dynamically adjusts shipping routes in response to live weather updates, minimizing delays and risk exposure.

    Engage with logistic software developers to create custom solutions tailored to your specific operational needs, ensuring that your fleet can navigate the safest and most efficient paths.

    Conduct regular training sessions for your logistics and operations teams on the latest route planning technologies and strategies, fostering a culture of agility and responsiveness, including safeguarding warehouse inventory along optimized routes.

    3. Contingency Planning Evolution:

    Insight: Supply chain risk management (SCRM) is vital for managing an organization’s exposure to potential supply chain risks.

    Action: Prioritize enhanced contingency planning, including scenario-based drills and coordination with local authorities.

    Actionable Implementation:

    Develop a series of detailed contingency plans for a range of weather scenarios, each including specific actions that minimize downtime and protect assets, including inventory in storage.

    Organize annual drills that simulate extreme weather events, testing your team’s response to emergency situations and refining your plans based on real-world feedback.

    Establish partnerships with local authorities and international relief organizations, ensuring a coordinated response to natural disasters that could impact your operations, including warehouse safety and inventory protection.

    4. Sustainability as a Shield:

    Insight: The study emphasizes a growing concern about the potential impacts of climate change on supply chains.

    Action: Advocate for sustainable maritime practices, exploring eco-friendly technologies and fuel alternatives.

    Actionable Implementation:

    Pilot eco-friendly technologies in your operations, such as cleaner fuel alternatives and energy-efficient vessels, to not only mitigate environmental impact but also reduce vulnerability to weather-related disruptions.

    Launch a sustainability task force within your organization to explore innovative practices that can be implemented industry-wide, positioning your company as a leader in responsible maritime operations.

    Engage in industry consortia focused on environmental resilience, sharing knowledge and strategies that elevate the sector’s overall preparedness and response capabilities, including those related to warehouse operations and inventory management. This collaboration ensures that warehouses are equipped to withstand the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, contributing to the resilience of the entire supply chain.


    By translating our proactive stance into these actionable steps, we not only fortify our operations against the immediate threats posed by extreme weather but also contribute to the long-term sustainability and resilience of both the transportation  and warehouse industries. As your trusted advisor, we are committed to navigating these challenges together, ensuring a more secure and resilient future for all.

    For further insights, refer to the full study by du Plessis, Goedhals-Gerber, and van Eeden (2024) [1].

    [1] du Plessis, F., Goedhals-Gerber, L., & van Eeden, J. (2024). The impacts of climate change on marine cargo insurance of cold chains: A systematic literature review and bibliometric analysis. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 101018. doi:10.1016/j.trip.2024.101018