BY Michael Kidd

Winter Shipping Management

Winter Shipping Necessitates Caution

Shipping in recent years has been a game of expectation management. Delays have become fairly routine, to the point where most clients have long since had to adjust to the reality that their orders are likely going to take far longer to arrive than they would have over other years. These issues are about to be compounded by the difficulties of navigating the increasingly hostile weather conditions of the winter months. 

Storms and Winter Shipping

Last year, the state of Texas was paralyzed for approximately one week by a particularly intense winter storm. Experts predict there is a decent chance of a repeat of those conditions at some point in the near future. This may not seem like a phenomenal concern to a shopkeeper in Kentucky or Nebraska, but the important thing to understand about shipping is that nothing happens in a vacuum. Trucks being unable to move through the state of Texas severely limits the number of imports that can be transported across the Mexican border. Texas’s status as one of the nation’s largest suppliers of beef means that the vast majority of restaurants will be impacted by another storm there.

Managing Expectations

The issue here is not isolated to Texas. Although the probability of an incident in Texas is cause for concern, the larger issue at work here is the necessity of expecting there will be issues with the transportation of goods in the coming days. Winter is a precarious season for the shipping industry. However, there is no reason why a business owner would necessarily need to understand the full scope of the issue until it is set to impact their business. Most owners would expect a delay if their hometowns were snowed in, but might not have considered how conditions in other parts of the country will affect their businesses. It is vital for members of the shipping industry to communicate with their clients and assist them in the management of their orders.

Understanding the Risk

Winter shipping delays are, of course, not just a matter of regulation. It is extraordinarily dangerous for truck drivers to operate in poor weather conditions. On average, there are nearly 6000 fatalities in weather-related truck crashes. Customers need to understand that these delays are not a matter to be taken lightly. Allowing extra time to complete orders can save drivers and other motorists’ lives.

Truck Driver Education

The difficult conditions also make this the ideal time of year to reinforce good driving habits among vehicle operators. Proper adherence to driving standards is a matter of life or death during the winter months. Maintaining proper speed and distance, in particular, can prevent most accidents, and minimize injuries in the event of an unavoidable collision. Particularly in snowy or rainy conditions, you want to ensure your drivers are well versed in all elements of safe shipping practices. If there is a time of year to ensure redundancy in safety training, it is winter. There is no such thing as over cautiousness in these conditions.

Safe Winter Shipping

Properly preparing for the realities of winter shipping can provide you with substantial advantages during a tumultuous shipping season. Better management of client expectations and knowledge will help them maintain their inventories and keep their customers satisfied. Proper driver management will prevent damage to equipment, persevere inventory, and keep people safe. Learn more about how Shipping Pilot’s services can help you with your fulfillment needs. Ecommerce shipping is already stressful enough with having to worry about winter weather. Let the pros at Shipping Pilot take a load off your plate. Contact us for a consultation, today.

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