When the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted and subsequently spread its ash across European flight paths the industry it had the most effect on was travel. But it has had an effect on the tech sector as well, even if it has been under-reported.
That tech industry mainstay, the conference, was the first element affected. One of ReadWriteWeb's writers had his trip to Funconf rescheduled.
Speakers at stateside conferences have had to cancel and conferences themselves have been canceled, rescheduled or, like Drupalcon, delayed. The website for Microsoft's Management Summit in Las Vegas carries a warning and says that they are "tracking the situation as it affects our attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors."
Although the damage to the airline industry might well be in the billions of dollars, and the damage to fruit and flower growers also significant, what about the delivery of high tech hardware to, from and through Europe?
Most companies employ what's called just-in-time inventory and delivery strategy. The positive is they save money, especially on storage. No warehouses either at the source nor at transit points or points of sale see smartphones and laptops gathering dust. Instead, they're sped in at the last moment. But when the transportation industry is compromised, just-in-time becomes where-the-hell-is-everything?
We wrote about Apple's delay in opening international sale of its iPad tablets. Will this geological tour de force force the delay further?
Reuters reports that high-tech hardware manufactured in Asia has bottlenecked.
"Across Asia, freight forwarding firms and exporters faced stalled delivery of goods typically transported by air, including mobile phones, high-tech consumer electronics, luxury fashion items and advanced Asian electronics components critical to production lines in Europe."
"That volcano has brought all Pandora and iControlPad shipments to a standstill," Tweeted Pandora dev Craig Rothwell."A bloody volcano is the latest delay, crazy"
If anyone in the ReadWriteWeb community knows of other delivery delays or conference cancellations (alliterating like a Saxon), let us know in the comments.
Photos by Frid Geirsson