How Does the Winter Weather Affect the Shipping Industry?

Posted by World Trade Distribution
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Filed Under: Container Freight

 

 

Truck stuck in the snow (2929723050)As the winter weather approaches, those in the shipping, freight, and rail industry are beginning to think about how to prepare for the weather that is coming up. In terms of the time of year, the winter season is arguably the toughest when it comes to freight shipping. The cold temperatures, hazardous road conditions, and early darkness can lead to delays and shortages that wreak havoc on the supply chain. With this in mind, it is vital for everyone to plan ahead and have contingencies for every possible weather-related hazard this winter season.

 What Happens to Shipping when the Roads and Terminals Shut Down?

The roads are one of the biggest hazards for shipping during the winter season. Ice and snow will make the roads slippery, reducing the friction between the tires and the road. It can cause cars to slip, slide, and be involved in accidents. For those driving trucks transporting valuable inventory, these hazards are magnified. Driving a truck in a blizzard on snow-covered roads is terrifying, particularly when other cars are on the road. With increased stop time, poor visibility, and terrible traction, disaster can strike.

The travel delays impact more than just the holiday travelers. Sometimes, terminals can shut down totally. In other situations, they might only be operating one or two runways. This can lead to severely limited operations. The terminals need to prioritize the safety of their workers, which can lead to significant delays. Be prepared to work delays into shipping times.

 How Does a Power Outage Affect Freight Shipping?

One of the major hazards of winter weather is the loss of power. As snow builds up on the power lines, it can weigh down the wires, leading to a power outage.  An electrical power outage can affect all side of the freight business.  The electric company will come out and restore power eventually; however, it is still hard to run an operation in the dark.

 Is There Guaranteed Shipping During a Winter Storm?

Of course, no shipment is every truly “guaranteed” but by going for guaranteed shipping, this places the shipment at the top of the list. This can help ensure that inventory arrives on time; however, it is also going to be an added cost. While this increases the chances of a shipment arriving on-time, winter weather can still lead delays even for the “guaranteed” shipments.

Winter is coming quick and it always brings a wide array of challenges. During the colder months, the trucking, shipping, and freight industries are placed directly in the line of fire, so be sure to plan ahead and work any potential delays into the expectations.

Dec 28 2018

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