In New Orleans, the port is coming back to life. Though this busy port was not expected to be back on line for something more like months, it started shipping again today.

That is good news. The port of New Orleans accounts for about 30% of U.S. port traffic. It also employs a lot of people. Generally, it will be better for the economy if the port is back in business.

But here's the other side of this news. In the 16 days since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf region, many businesses around the country began quickly making other arrangements for their shipping needs to avoid business disruption.

This sort of inconsistency and change in expectations doesn't always jibe with general business process. But if there's one thing that has been consistent in New Orleans, it has been inconsistency. Can businesses seriously consider returning to previous work arrangements in this environment?