Japan and Houston Supply Chains

Japan now estimates the damage to its economy from the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster could top $300 billion. Andrew Schneider reports on how that damage is filtering through to the local economy.

Damage to overhead lines on the T�hoku Shinkansen
Damage to overhead lines on the Tohoku Shinkansen

Rolling blackouts are continuing to disrupt production at factories in Tokyo and the surrounding areas. That’s making U.S. companies dependent on Japanese suppliers for their own production increasingly nervous.

Jim DeLoach, managing director of business consulting firm Protiviti, says shortages of key Japanese exports could hit Houston businesses and consumers within 90 days.

“Companies that are operating in the supply chain that involves mobile phones, cameras and other electronic devices, serving automotive OEMs, computers, tablets, and other equipment requiring electronics made to specification can be affected by slowdowns and cessation of operations due to supply disruptions in Japan.”

Damage to roads and ports are further slowing delivery of Japanese exports. It’s still far from clear how much of Japan’s supply chain lies within the region damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, let alone that affected by the radiation release from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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