One hears about invasive species on the news, but we often don’t think of the implications of something so far removed from our daily lives. But in this case, the strangest turn of events could have had a huge impact on an InterMoor project schedule.
A mooring job off the coast of Africa had been planned for months and it was finally time to transport all the equipment for the job. Arrangements had been made long in advance with a reputable carrier and loadout followed by transit slated to begin that week.
Suddenly, US authorities ordered the vessel to leave port and sail to Mexico for fumigation.
Because of a snail.
A Giant African Snail had been found on the vessel and they are considered an invasive species. An infestation in 1966, that was caused by three snails brought in by a boy returning from Hawaii, took the state of Florida a decade and nearly a million dollars to eradicate.
The animals can grow to over a foot long and eat over 500 types of plants including many agricultural crops. They represent an enormous threat to the agriculture community and US Customs takes them very seriously.
InterMoor was lucky on this occasion, in that we were able to take fast and timely action to prevent substantial project schedule delays, but it demonstrates that the most far removed, unlikely things can sometimes have the potential to have huge implications on project schedules.