Bad weather may make the movement of freight shipping delayed. However, when severe weather hits delays can become detrimental on a much larger scale. Weather poses the greatest threat as far as disruptions go to your valuable, freight in transit to the destination.
How Weather Impacts Freight Shipping
Weather and natural disasters can interrupt the transportation flow and your supply chain anytime and anywhere. They say weather is responsible for 23% of all truck delays and costs the industry up to $3.5 billion annually. Snow and ice are responsible for more than 50% of all weather-related delays. In severe situations like blizzards, hurricanes, and tornados the lost revenue can be at least a $100 million a day and the effect trickles down to retailers and consumers.
Roads. When the roads become flooded, icy or covered in snow, it inevitably slows down the ability to drive on them and can possibly lead to road closures. Safety is a priority for both the driver and the products. Trucks are sensitive to adverse road conditions.
Truck Drivability. With trucks being sensitive to any road conditions, add wind, severe rain, fog or snow to the picture and it becomes impossible to drive. The truck has a decrease in traction, low stop time and visibility.
Terminals. In severe weather circumstances, terminals either close completely or only resume with very limited capabilities.
Water. Droughts can disrupt traffic on rivers and inland waterways due to low water levels that prevent the movement of barges.
Capacity Limitations. When a storm hits a freight truck may be stuck due to road closure or undrivable conditions. It can cause longer-term issues than just a truck being sidelined for a day or two. This means that there is one less truck available for your scheduled shipment. LTL shipping carriers are traditionally dependent on keeping their line-haul schedules every day. You need to utilize a transportation provider that has the size and scale to handle extra freight volume.
How Best to Work Around the Challenges
Keep in mind that it is not only the storm zone that is affected, the surrounding regions become hectic due to the rerouting of traffic to those areas.
Of course, the challenges that the carriers face are minimal compared to those faced by people living in impacted areas. But it’s important for those not affected to gain insight into exactly how disruptive and far-reaching the consequences of severe weather can be.
It is important to work with an experienced freight shipping planner. To proactively strategize and take the time to determine if their current supply chain strategy could weather the storm.