Have you ever gone into a grocery store in the middle of winter and noticed that a lot of products are missing from the shelves? That box of cookies you wanted hasn’t been restocked, and the clerk says, “My guess is we will have it by Thursday, once this storm passes.”
Our grocery stores, our refineries, our entire economy suffers when the weather gets rough. From severe winter storms to fires consuming California, when roads are too dangerous to drive on, our freight stalls and our lives are suddenly affected.
Shippers need to plan for inevitable seasons of bad weather and rough road conditions so that their customers don’t suffer and their products can be regularly delivered.
Carrier safety is at risk
First, inclement weather always poses safety concerns for truck drivers. Truckers have to take a look at their lanes and determine if running a load is going to be safe in bad weather.
Veteran over-the-road drivers know that a flipped truck costs more than missing a few loads that may pay well. Even if truckers drive safe, there is a chance that road conditions will be so severe that traffic gridlocks or roads close down altogether.
Carriers can spend their entire HOS (hours of service) for a day slowly inching through traffic, burning through fuel and losing money.
Nearly 12% of the total estimated truck delays are due to weather in the 20 U.S. cities with the highest volume of truck traffic.
Shipwell has partnered with many providers who have smart routing. Truckers can use the routing to get around problem areas and maintain communications with shippers updating them about ETA and potential issues.
Carriers who drive in harsh weather know the raised level of responsibility they have on those loads and can brand themselves as trusted carriers by using Shipwell.
Second, shippers failing to deliver their products results in several unhappy customers awaiting pallets of food or resources. Around 70% of the nation’s roads and 70% of the U.S. population lives in snowy regions. Having a plan of action for delivering products in lousy weather is crucial, even if it is just managing expectations.
Rough weather poses a threat to production warehouses and terminals just as much as highways and roads. When hurricanes blow in, ports shut down and ships stay put until the storm passes.
Shippers end up paying more in drayage fees to get their containers out of the port. In some regions, the weather can be too harsh for warehouse workers to show up for work, limiting the amount of manpower to load a truck. Worst of all, if the power goes out at a facility, there’s not much you can do except wait for the power company to fix it.
Shipwell can help streamline warehouse workflow when the weather turns sour. Dock scheduling is an upcoming feature in Shipwell that helps shippers schedule trucks to pick up loads from specific dock doors. By scheduling your carriers, you can organize your warehouse, prevent truck build-up, and manage loading times to outrun the storm.
As a result, the cost of shipping in bad weather can skyrocket to make up for limited carrier capacity. Every year, weather is responsible for costing the industry up to $3.5 billion. It is nearly impossible to stay on budget for shipments for a myriad of reasons.
Almost 50% of wrecks occur during rainfall. High winds can affect truck stability and debris on the roads. Natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes can close down lanes for weeks. Even extreme heat can affect vehicle performance, road conditions, traffic flow, and cargo quality.
Shipwell believes that safety is above anything else in these situations. We admire and appreciate those in the industry who risk their lives to keep our country running. Our team wants to be a solution for your inclement weather days by making complicated logistics intuitive and straightforward. No matter what obstacles our industry faces, we’re here to help ensure freight gets on the road as quickly and safely as possible.