Whether you live in the Mid-west and deal with high winds and colossal storms that produce tornadoes, also you could live in the Northern States where Snow storms are the norm or live near the south where rain storms and hurricanes can devastate entire states for several months out of the year, we’re all affected when bad weather hits. When it comes to shipping products and goods, bad weather can cause all kinds of shipping issues from delays to increased costs, which we know none are good for business. Understanding how weather can affect your shipment gives you the knowledge you need to plan ahead and possibly avoid some of the common issues that result from bad weather. Below are 5 ways weather can affect your freight shipment and how you can be ready for what Mother Nature throws at your shipment.
1. Road Conditions
Trucking and Delivery services are the backbone of the American economy, but they can’t do anything if the road conditions aren’t safe. If too much snow accumulates on the road, road closures could happen. That means an alternative route needs to be taken, which could possibly extend transit time. As frustrating as that is for all parties involved, safety is the top priority when it comes to truckers on the road. Keeping employees safe also means that your shipment is kept safe, even though hazardous road conditions might delay delivery times.
When you add in poor visibility, traction issues, braking quickly, and other drivers on a dangerous road, the drivability of any shipment gets trickier.
2. Transfer Hub
Much like roads that may be closed temporarily or are open with limited capacity due to abnormal weather, freight hubs are no different. These businesses may either close completely or conduct limited operations. This isn’t just for the safety of the facility itself, but for the employees who are working there and keeping it operational. Safety is top priority for everyone involved. If there is limited staff during bad weather, it means that some shipments will not go out on time, or worse case sit there for days. A closures occur when it’s too dangerous for anyone to be working or to be driving on the roads. Employee safety must always be the first concern.
3. Guarantees and Expedited Shipping
Opting for guaranteed or expedited shipping services is an additional cost which puts your shipment at the top of carriers’ priority lists. But, when unexpected, dangerous weather comes along and disrupts the timing of your shipment’s transit, nothing is guaranteed anymore. Remaining aware of inclement weather conditions along the route your shipment is taking helps you manage your expectations in terms of estimated transit times.
4. Power Outages
If the power goes out, the Freight world can’t do much. Hurricanes, tornadoes, severe blizzards, and other forms of extreme natural disasters damage infrastructure, power lines, communication channels, and more. That makes it difficult to do things that are vital during the freight shipping process. Working with a 3PL or Courier Service can help you mitigate some of these headaches, many 3PLs and Courier Services keep track of inclement weather for their customers, keeping you in the loop no matter the circumstances.
5. Capacity Limitations
When a natural disaster or other forms of inclement weather impacts Delivery and Courier Services, that can put a strain on a service to conduct normal operations. A major highway due to too much snow or flooding or a driver having to take a different route’ than expected, can cause a major backload of shipments. So, a storm across the country that may not have directly impacted you could have some kind of influence over your carrier options and rates.
How to Weather the Storm
When unpredictable weather happens, you need to be able to adapt quickly so your customer are served or your packages arrive on time. Finding solutions while overcoming inclement weather is a challenge to do on your own. That’s why partnering with a third-party logistics company like J&J Trucking and Contracting can help you weather the storm. With the help of a powerful J&J Trucking and Contracting your shipment will arrive on time, we will also update you on the status of your shipments if any troubles occur, you're shipments will weather any storm that comes your way.
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Josh Adams - Been in logistic industry since 2004.