Hurricane Sandy (11-21-12) -- To our Valued Customers:
The good news is that the clean-up/sanitization process at Refrigit Warehouse continues on schedule.
The better news is that shipments of FULL PALLETS ONLY started Monday morning from Refrigit, and in spite of truck congestion and some inventory confusion, orders are beginning to be delivered again. It has been a difficult three weeks, but we can all see light at the end of the tunnel, and this is very positive news indeed.
For our interested customers, vendors, and transportation partners – please be advised that Refrigit Warehouse and Accem Warehouse will both be open for business on Friday, November 23rd. This break from the tradition of a 4-day Thanksgiving Weekend should assist in easing already severe congestion at the loading docks on Monday next week, and we thank the management and staff of both warehouses for forgoing their vacations to assist us with deliveries.
Our own office will also be open on Friday from 8.00 AM until at least 1.00 PM; we will certainly be here on Friday afternoon until the phone stops ringing.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Hurricane Sandy (11-12-12) -- To our Valued Customers:
We can update you as follows regarding the hurricane damage at Refrigit Warehouse, and our efforts to resume shipments during this busy holiday season –
Refrigit Warehouse sustained both water and wind damage from Hurricane Sandy, and the electricity has still not been fully restored, although generators have been running the lights since Tuesday, November 6th. As soon as there was available light, the team at Refrigit began to inspect and segregate the damaged areas of the warehouse, with the intention of isolating damaged product at a separate warehouse building so that undamaged lots could be released and shipped beginning as early as today. This plan was halted abruptly on Wednesday evening, when the Food and Drug Administration declared that all product at Refrigit, both damaged and unaffected, was on FDA Hold.
Until FDA approves product release(s), all merchandise at Refrigit is under this FDA Hold, and Refrigit is specifically prohibited from releasing any product whatsoever from their warehouses. Refrigit has submitted an action plan to FDA for cleanup and sanitization of the warehouse; if approved/authorized by FDA, this plan will take 3-4 weeks to complete. In the meantime, all shipments from Refrigit may be impossible.
The Association of Food Industries (AFI) held a conference call on Thursday afternoon to address the issues surrounding Refrigit’s cleanup efforts and the FDA Hold on unaffected merchandise. The AFI will be working with expert legal counsel in the coming days to address the FDA Hold, and to look for solutions that may expedite the cleanup and approval process at Refrigit. We will keep you updated on the progress of these efforts.
The timing of this event could not have been worse, and Great Lakes appreciates the fact that delivery of merchandise to our clients at this time of year is critical to a successful holiday season. As a result, we have been diverting inbound New York cargoes to alternative warehouses so these arrivals can be delivered without additional delay. In addition, we have already transferred some inventory from the west coast to mitigate particularly extreme shortages of tropical fruits, and these processes will continue until we have a clear picture regarding when deliveries from Refrigit can recommence. The short term will be extremely challenging, and we request your patience while we continue to search for solutions to this crisis. Of course we will be doing everything possible to assist customers with short-term cover, and we will be assisting Refrigit’s staff in every way possible while they sort through damages and sanitization under FDA guidance.
Regardless of all of the above, Great Lakes believes that the most important issue facing us is to ensure the safety of the products we sell. Although we are interested in making deliveries of unaffected merchandise as quickly as possible, we are also aware that we need to accomplish this goal in an intelligent and responsible way. I request your patience in the coming days as we do our very best to mitigate the effects of this truly millennium event. We will recommence deliveries from Refrigit as soon as both the FDA and our own management team determine that it is safe and wise to do so.
Thank you for your understanding and patience.
Please phone us with your questions or comments at 800.342.0101. Alternatively, please feel free to contact us via e-mail at the addresses listed below.
verne @ glit.com
george @ glit.com
dennym @ glit.com