- USPS, FedEx and UPS stated that the fire that closed the world’s busiest airport — Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport — will not postpone holiday package deliveries, AJC.com reported.
- Although the Hartsfield-Jackson airport is the top-traveled passenger airport, it isn't among the top 20 air hubs for cargo shipping, according to the Airports Council International.
- However Delta Airlines' air cargo division briefly embargoed international flights, canceled 540 flights and rerouted 47, The Loadstar reported.
Even though Atlanta isn't a hub for air cargo, it is Delta's headquarters, so the power outage affected Delta's air cargo operations, causing delays.
While shippers using Delta Cargo have been impacted, other carriers and 3PLs were not severely affected by the outage. The Atlanta outage illustrates the potential catastrophe for a carrier when its hub goes dark; not only can it cause immediate cancelations and delays, but the ripple effects could be felt for months.
The Atlanta outage is a bit similar to the cyber attack on A.P. Moller - Maersk Group in June; the risk of an electrical outage, whether caused by a cyber attack or a fire, has severe consequences and reiterates the importance of backup systems and plans.
Not all risk is avoidable, but because commercial activity relies so heavily on the grid, electrical outages or attacks are especially severe. Supply chains currently don't have a foolproof method for dealing with these kinds of outages, so until they do, reliance on the grid may be a company's biggest risk factor.