To our clients, colleagues and friends:
We hope this message finds you and your families safe. We want to take this opportunity to provide an update on the status of Haier America's employees, systems, building and facilities in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
We are very happy to be able to report that all of our employees are accounted for and safe, though many still face challenges in their home communities relating to cleanup, power outages, and recovery of material losses.
We are fortunate to be able to report that our offices and facilities did not suffer significant damage. In anticipation of the storm, and to ensure the safety of our employees and their families, the Haier Building at 1356 Broadway in NYC and our Distribution Center in Keasbey, NJ were officially closed for the storm on Monday October 29th and Tuesday October 30th.
The Haier Building was able to reopen as scheduled on Wednesday October 31st, the day after the storm, with normal operations and no network issues aside from some disruption of phone service. When this issue could not be resolved immediately, a temporary solution was put into place to allow employees to make limited outbound calls. Area public transportation was halted before the storm and returned slowly. With the transit situation somewhat improved by Thursday morning, more employees began returning to work on-site, though some continued to work from home. In order to provide more time to address month-end and urgent issues, as well as to accommodate the necessary early and late commuting during the restoration of transit, the Haier Building was kept open for extended hours in the week following the storm.
The State of New Jersey was hit particularly hard, and our facility in Keasbey suffered a complete loss of power. This, along with a gas leak and computer connectivity issues presented a challenge to our operations, slowing shipments somewhat directly after the storm. These issues however, were overcome within a couple of days and we were able to fully reopen the Keasbey facility to all business on Monday November 5th. In the meantime we were able to get electricity supplied to a small portion of the building, which allowed us to be up and operating the day after the storm, with a small number of crucial staff working on-site and others working remotely. Wednesday we shipped on a limited basis from the distribution centers, and shipments were close to normal on Thursday and Friday. By the week after the storm we were getting close to 100% of all orders shipped. In regards to inbound product, we have experienced delays of containers, which has slowed the receipt of some product, due to the Port of New York and New Jersey being shut down and steamship lines off-loading cargo at other Eastern Seaboard ports.
It is our sincere hope that the destructive effects of this terrible storm can be quickly and effectively addressed in the days and weeks to come, allowing for the lives of everyone in the area to return to normal as soon as possible. We are thankful for and obliged to all the members of our team for their foresight, resourcefulness, and dedication to getting the job done despite the challenges presented by this natural disaster. Because we came together and endeavored to keep the lines of communication open, we have been able to not only assist one another through this time, but have been able to continue providing the same excellent service our clients and partners have come to expect from us. Sincerely, Haier America