Updating you regarding our post typhoon assessment. Typhoon Odette (international name – RAI) hit several regions in the Philippines last Dec 16/ 17 – particularly these Regions – CARAGA Region, Region VI – Western Visayas, VII – Central Visayas, VIII – Eastern Visayas and IV-B (MIMAROPA – Mindoro/Marinduque/Romblon/Palawan). These are the regions which were hit hardest, with communities in Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Island, Southern Leyte, Bohol and Cebu most severely affected by the heavy rains, strong winds, and flooding. The typhoon caused days of power interruption, telephone/ cable, internet network damage, and huge damage to general properties, homes, infrastructure costing billions of Pesos (approx. P13.4 billion as per latest news) and sad to say some lives were lost.
POST TYPHOON ASSESSMENT IN RELATION TO OUR OPERATIONS:
- TRANSPORTATION AND LOGISTICS – our logistics operations have been affected right after the typhoon but we were able to load all containers that had to leave last Dec 28. Roads were not passable (for a while) due to landslides but the local government has acted on it immediately so the impact was minimal.
- PLANT MANPOWER AND PROPERTY – Our people are all safe, our plant and properties did not sustain any major damage that could adversely affect our operations. We continue to operate under NORMAL CONDITIONS, with minimal setbacks if any. We have experienced low attendance in the Nut Opening Plant for a short time after the typhoon due to transportation issues. We are back to normal now.
- NUT SUPPLY – based on the ground assessment of our Nut Buying Team, some of our buying stations and sources will be affected in the near term due to damages sustained particularly in the CARAGA region – but we believe that the effect on our overall nut supply requirements will be MINIMAL. TO AUGMENT SUPPLY, we have an existing/established alternate source for the possible shortfall.
We will continue to monitor our nut supply and will update you as needed. Rest assured that all your orders are pipelined in production as scheduled and for now, we do not see any issues affecting production
The continuing issues will be on SHIPPING as freight rates remain high and space are still very tight. (Well, they go hand in hand!). Add to this the heavy congestion at US ports and shortage of truckers and equipment which is a “logistics nightmare” for our operations in the US. We just have to “roll with the punches” and continue our discussions, negotiations with the shipping lines and hoping that the shipping lines will “come back to their senses” sooner than later.