Letter to Suppliers Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

To Our Suppliers,

As we all know, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is making news for the impact it may have on global supply chains. While many Chinese factories have reopened, we’re only beginning to see the ripple effect of supply shortages and supply chain disruptions in the United States.

We can’t control the COVID-19 outbreak nor the shortages and surges it may cause. What we can do is try to mitigate the impacts on supply chains by communicating with one another, working together, and planning ahead.

What We Are Doing:

While the current COVID-19 outbreak is becoming more widespread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintain that the risk of contracting the virus in the United States is still considered low. Nonetheless, the CDC warns that this situation is evolving and will likely continue changing. UP has issued guidance to employees regarding best practices to prevent transmission of the virus and asking all employees to avoid all nonessential travel. We are dedicated to maintaining a healthy workplace and will continue to follow the guidelines for businesses and employers set forth by the CDC.

We are also asking that all our suppliers postpone any visits to Union Pacific Headquarters until further notice.

As the situation progresses, we will stay in close communication with you regarding any additional plans or changes.

What You Can Do:

If You’re Expecting a Shortage of Supply or Impact to Service

If you are expecting a shortage of products, we would like to keep in close contact as you gain clarity on when your volumes are expected to pick up again. If you are able to let us know the timing and quantity of those anticipated volume levels, we will do our part to prepare for the anticipated shortage. The more we can understand what your shortage might look like and when it will happen, the better we can prepare. Please contact your Supply Chain representative with any information you might have.

If You’re Preparing for Domestic Interruptions

If you are preparing for domestic interruptions at your plant or operations which provide services or materials to the railroad, close communication will also be important. To stay on top of the domestic situation, we would like to gain insight into what you’re hearing and what challenges your company in particular may be facing.

  • At this time, are you seeing any impact in your supply chains?
  • Have you discussed any type of contingency planning within your organization? If so, what are your plans?
  • What insight can you share on the international supply chain?

As you learn more, and plan for potential disruptions due to the Coronavirus, please have a discussion with your UP Supply Chain representative regarding the above topics as well as any other information that might help us work effectively together through this disruption.

Finally and most importantly, as the COVID-19 virus outbreak related events unfold in our communities, we hope you and yours stay safe and healthy. Thank you for your support.

Clark Ponthier
Sr. VP Supply Chain
Union Pacific Railroad