Ready for the Shake-Up?

Are the Ports of LA and Long Beach ready for the coming Big One? Experts at the 5th Annual Global Supply Chain Excellence Summit Aug. 9-10 will weigh in

July 31, 2017

For businesses in Southern California, preparing for the impact of a major earthquake should be second-nature. Yet the need to plan for post-earthquake recovery isn’t just crucial for the region—the entire nation will feel the economic impact should the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles shut down in the aftermath of a mega-quake.

USC Marshall is taking the lead on raising awareness about what to expect and how to mitigate economic disruption in the days and weeks following the next major earthquake at the fifth annual Global Supply Chain Excellence Summit on August 9-10, 2017 at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center at the USC campus.

“How we handle massive disruption to the global supply chain in the aftermath of a mega-quake is a critical discussion we need to have today,” said Nick Vyas, executive director of the Center for Global Supply Chain Management at USC Marshall and assistant professor of clinical data sciences and operations. “And with hundreds of senior leaders from across industries in the same room, the Global Supply Chain Excellence Summit is the ideal venue to launch this dialogue.”

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handle more than 40 percent of the goods that come into this country from Asia and contribute hundreds of millions of dollars into the economy.

“A mega-quake is not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” said Vyas. “Damage to the infrastructure will affect every single municipality in the Lower 48 states plus Alaska and Hawaii, not just the City of Los Angeles.”

What’s the Plan?

To address this issue, The Summit will host—for the first time—a discussion with two researchers involved in post-quake preparation: Ken Hudnut, science advisor for risk reduction for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Natural Hazards Mission Area, and Aram Sahakian, general manager, Emergency Management Department, City of Los Angeles. 

Sahakian, who has been leading the city’s Special Traffic Operations and Emergency Response Division for more than two decades, will provide a general project overview of his research into post-event resiliency.

Dr. Hudnut was instrumental in the writing of the ShakeOut Scenario, a report that modeled the impact of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the San Andreas Fault to identify the physical, social and economic consequences of a major earthquake in southern California. Hudnut will share additional information about other major earthquake faults that will impact supply chains.

The 5th Annual Global Supply Chain Excellence Summit will feature speakers on topics across industries as they pertain to global supply chain and logistics, including leadership from Google, Oracle, FedEx, Johnson & Johnson and the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

To register for the 5th Annual Global Supply Chain Summit, and for the latest information about panels and panelists please visit