On January 12, a tornado swept through Jackson, Ga., severely damaging a world-class, 336,017-square-feet parts distribution center operated by Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas (HCMA).
At 4:00 p.m. local time, a tornado warning was announced. Approximately 100 employees were evacuated and sought refuge in designated evacuation sites. Thanks to the quick response, no major injuries were reported.
“We are very thankful that our evacuation plan was successful and that no major injuries were reported among our valued team members,” said HCMA chief executive Al Quinn.
The Jackson parts warehouse began operation in March 2022 to fortify the Hitachi Construction Machinery parts supply system in the Americas. The warehouse stored parts for distribution not only within the United States, but throughout the Americas, from Canada to Latin America.
The tornado rendered the Jackson parts warehouse unusable in the near term. Part of the warehouse roof collapsed, and there is significant damage to the building’s infrastructure. HCMA. team members cannot access the facility or its current inventory until it is determined to be safe, which may take several weeks.
HCMA quickly rolled out its contingency plans to ensure timely delivery of parts to support Hitachi customers in the Americas.
- Parts will be directly air shipped to dealers from the master warehouse in Japan and other global Hitachi warehouses.
- Parts being received from our suppliers will be redirected and shipped directly from a secondary warehouse in Georgia while an enhanced parts receiving and shipping function is implemented.
- A temporary external warehouse is being set up to receive additional parts.
- Once the ability to recover the current inventory in the Jackson warehouse is authorized, Hitachi will relocate this inventory to the other local warehouses for access by its dealers.
HCMA said these plans will minimize any disruption for Hitachi customers. It remains committed to providing world-class support for its dealers and customers, the company stated.
“We are taking steps to prevent any disruption to our customers’ businesses by employing the full breadth of Hitachi resources,” said Quinn. “We will do whatever it takes to be the best supplier our customers and dealers work with.”
Hitachi is also making a sizable donation to a local community support group to aid in the support and recovery this storm brought to the local community.