We face a lot of challenges when we try to travel during the winter.
Road conditions, weather-related delays, the effect of snow and ice on our vehicles, these are all factors that can impact our journey.
The same thing is true for transporting goods. Whether you’re using truckload or LTL shipping, there are certain issues you’ll need to contend with between November and April each year.
It’s not just highways getting shut down and drivers becoming stranded at truck stops waiting for the weather to clear. Bad weather can cause businesses to close, further disrupting shipping.
Here are a few things to consider when dealing with freight during the cold weather months.
1 – Expect Delays
We’re based in southern California, writing this blog entry on a sunny, 63-degree day. But on the other side of the country, people are digging out from a pretty significant snowstorm.
Why do we mention this? Because it’s important to know what weather conditions are around the country if you’ll be shipping from, say, Florida to Michigan or vice versa. Expect delays this time of year — either due to cold weather or the winter holidays — and try to plan accordingly when scheduling your shipping.
Talk to your carrier as early as possible to plan for delays – remember, these can result from both icy road conditions and storm-related power outages — and work with someone who offers tracking so you know where your shipment is.
2 – Think About What You’re Shipping
Whether you’re shipping gallons of milk or machinery with a lot of small, moving parts, freezing temperatures can be bad for your products.
If you can, try to ship using a temperature-controlled truck. It will cost more in the short run, but not as much as the cost of losing an entire shipment to cold weather.
3 – Communication is Key
We can’t control the weather but we can control how we communicate with vendors and/or customers during a storm-related delay. Be up front with them from the beginning and be sure to never over-promise.
It’s also important here to communicate with your team, making sure everyone is in the loop and able to step in as needed.
4 – Consider Cold Weather Shipping by Rail
The roads may be shut down by the weather, but trains may still be operational, making rail shipping an attractive option.
Just keep in mind that the rail industry has its own winter woes to contend with, such as snow drifts piling along tracks, cold weather causing rails to warp and moisture affecting brakes.
5 – Choose an experienced freight transportation service
You have a lot to worry about when running a business. Why not allow an experienced freight transportation service to help you make sure your goods get to where they need to go, regardless of the weather?
Let MoveFreight provide that service.
Our Southern California freight transportation service can save you both time and money by matching your goods with the appropriate carrier and equipment, comparing several carriers to find competitive rates, tracking shipments and even helping you with claims when needed.
We use the highest standards possible for LTL and truckload shipping, air freight and sea and rail transport to make sure your cargo gets to where it needs to be as fast and efficiently as possible. Contact us today to learn more.