Friday 10th Jul 2020 - Logistics & Supply Chain

Counting the cost of the Japanese earthquake

The impact of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan has been felt in supply chains around the world.

Dealing with an event of this scale will take time and even now survivors are being found among the debris, but work is starting on the rebuilding.

Motor manufacturer Nissan has resumed some production of parts for overseas manufacturing and repair and vehicle production is expected to resume on Thursday (24th March) while inventory of supplies lasts. Restoration work is going on at its Iwaki engine plant which was particularly badly affected.

Toyota has extended the suspension of domestic vehicle production until 26th March. Honda has also decided to extended its closures.

Volvo said that its  UD Trucks business, which has three plants in the Tokyo area, aimed to resume production to a limited extent on 28th March.

Among the electronics manufacturers, Sony suspended operations at a number of sites while it assessed the impact of the damage. It has also suspend some of the operations at five plants undamaged by the earthquake owing to shortages of components.

Hitachi reported damage to six sites, mainly production bases.

Japan’s sea and air cargo facilities have also been disrupted. NYK said on Monday that repair work had been completed at its Tokyo container terminal on Saturday. As a result all Japan base ports, except Sendai and Hachinohe, were operating normally.

Japan Airlines and ANA Group have both agreed to transport relief goods and supplies at no charge until 15th April on their domestic and international networks.

Quite rightly, at the moment, the focus is on dealing with the immediate challenges, but in the longer term organisations will need to look at the lessons that can be learnt.

The Red Cross has set up an appeal to help victims of the disaster. Click here if you would like to make a donation.

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