Hitachi parts warehouse damaged by tornado, 100 employees evacuated

(UI) — A world-class, 336,017-square-foot parts distribution center operated by Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc. was severely damaged on Jan. 12 when a tornado swept through Jackson, Georgia, the company announced on Jan. 25.

At 4:00 p.m. on Jan. 12, a tornado warning was announced. Approximately 100 employees were evacuated and sought refuge in designated evacuation sites. Thanks to the quick response, no major injuries were reported, according to Hitachi.

“We are very thankful that our evacuation plan was successful and that no major injuries were reported among our valued team members,” said Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc. CEO Al Quinn. 

The Jackson parts warehouse began operation in March 2022 to fortify the Hitachi Construction Machinery parts supply system in the Americas. The warehouse stored parts for distribution not only within the United States, but throughout the Americas, from Canada to Latin America. 

The tornado rendered the Jackson parts warehouse unusable in the near term. Part of the warehouse roof collapsed, and there is significant damage to the building’s infrastructure. Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc. team members cannot access the facility or its current inventory until it is determined to be safe, which may take several weeks.

Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc. quickly rolled out its contingency plans to ensure timely delivery of parts to support Hitachi customers in the Americas. 

Current Actions: 

  • Parts will be directly air shipped to dealers from the master warehouse in Japan and other global Hitachi warehouses. 
  • Parts being received from our suppliers will be redirected and shipped directly from a secondary warehouse in Georgia while an enhanced parts receiving and shipping function is implemented.
  • A temporary external warehouse is being set up to receive additional parts.
  • Once the ability to recover the current inventory in the Jackson warehouse is authorized, we will relocate this inventory to the other local warehouses for access by our dealers.

These plans will minimize any disruption for Hitachi customers. Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc. remains committed to providing world-class support for its dealers and customers.

“We are taking steps to prevent any disruption to our customers’ businesses by employing the full breadth of Hitachi resources,” Quinn said. “We will do whatever it takes to be the best supplier our customers and dealers work with.”

Hitachi is also making a sizable donation to a local community support group to aid in the support and recovery this storm brought to the local community.

Updates will be provided as the situation continues to unfold.

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