Florida Suppliers Provide Tropical Storm Elsa Updates
Tropical Storm Elsa made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast this morning, and is expected to bring heavy rain and wind as it moves north across the state.
The storm briefly strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane last night, according to CBS News, but weakened back to tropical storm status as of this morning.
Promotional products suppliers in Florida, especially those on the Gulf Coast, are still being prepared for delays or setbacks. We asked a few Floridian suppliers what they’ve seen already, what they plan to do as the storm progresses and what customers can expect.
Hit Promotional Products, Largo, Fla.:
While the safety of our employees is top priority, we are working hard to fulfill customer orders. We expect little impact today to ground shipments. We have been informed that the Tampa International Airport is ceasing operations as of 5 p.m. [Tuesday] in preparation for the storm, which could affect expedited ship methods.
The storm is expected to pass over the Tampa Bay area later [Tuesday] and into [Wednesday] morning. This may affect staffing levels at the factory due to school closures, transportation issues due to road/bridge closures, property damage and power outages. Additional third-party logistics carriers, such as UPS and FedEx, could experience delays as they route around the storm. These situations could all contribute to delayed orders for the remainder of the week.
Koozie Group, Clearwater, Fla.:
Tropical Storm Elsa poses a potentially significant threat to the state of Florida. Koozie Group is monitoring the storm hourly, and has the safety and security of our employees at the center of our concerns. Because of this, we will close our Clearwater, Fla., manufacturing operations at 8:00 Tuesday night and will reopen at 2:00 Wednesday afternoon. Given the adjusted production hours, as well as limited carrier pick-ups, some shipments will be delayed. We will reach out to customers whose orders are impacted by the delay.
Cannabis Promotions, St. Petersburg, Fla.:
The storm is affecting our operations, as we had to leave early yesterday and it affected shipments going out. We have staff that travel as far as Tampa, and we wanted to make sure they could get home okay and have time to prepare for the storm.
We are already back to work today, though. We were fortunate that the storm was not very bad in St. Petersburg. We did have some employees that lost power at home, so they were happy to come into work.
While hurricanes are not anything to play with, Florida is very prepared for them. Its unfortunate how often they happen here so its very important to always be ready.
We are hoping everything we have shipped doesn’t have too many interruptions as the storm continues to move north.
Other suppliers, such as Tervis in Sarasota County, Pilot Pens in Jacksonville, and Bel Promo in Miami, said that the storm hasn’t been bad enough in their area to affect operations, and that they don’t foresee that changing.