Well, here we go again. It’s January and snow is in the forecast. I hear our logistics teams talking to carriers about weather concerns in states across the South and coming up the East Coast. Shippers, warehouse managers, carriers and receivers have delivery times on the top of their agendas.
Knowing the future
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration* and the Weather Channel, this winter may bring colder-than-average temperatures to the East early on because of a weak La Niña in 2016. While Mother Nature has a mind of her own, our ability to predict bad weather is more sophisticated than ever. For shippers and warehouse managers this knowledge is power-- so put it to work for you! Ship early if you can or check to see if the freight can go out after the weather event if possible.
Communication, accessibility and adaptability
Communicating potential delays with shippers and checking in with carriers often are essential when Old Man Winter rears his ugly head. No one likes surprises, so a clear channel of communication can help resolve situations from the get-go.
In addition to watching the weather forecast, today’s transportation technology can easily track and trace shipments in real time, giving stake holders an option of rerouting or even changing modes of transport on a shipment if necessary to avoid a bad weather system.
Having a reliable carrier network
Cold weather can present a number of challenges for truckers that can cause delays. Having an extensive carrier network can give a shipper options if something goes wrong during transit.
Owner-operators, drivers and fleet owners all have to maintain their trucks. Keeping the proper additives in their diesel (it will gel if temperatures get too cold), knowing which states have chain laws and what they are, (www.landline.com) and making sure there is no water in the air lines (water in the lines may cause brake failure) are preventative actions drivers can take. If you don’t have an extensive carrier network, you should consider working with a reputable 3pl that has thousands of reliable, vetted carriers ready to assist you.