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Adeline Kon/Supply Chain Dive

US - 4 types of billion-dollar weather events tested supply chains in 2020

The combination of a record year for natural disasters and the pandemic magnified disruptions to shippers, carriers and everyone in between.

The COVID-19 pandemic took center stage for supply chains in 2020, but it was far from the only risk event.

Last year set a record of 22 weather and climate disaster events, each costing at least $1 billion, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. The previous record for billion-dollar events in a year was 16, in 2017 and 2011. The costs of 22 events of 2020 combined exceeded $96 billion in damages.

The combination of frequent natural disasters and the pandemic magnified the disruptions to supply chains, said Jon Davis, chief meteorologist at Everstream Analytics.

"You had all these storms and all these weather events last year, then you had an underlined base state of COVID," Davis said. "It just multiplies the impact of all of those things."

Costly natural disasters become more frequent

Billion-dollar climate and weather disaster event count, CPI adjusted

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