With colder weather on the way, shippers are beginning to prepare for the winter shipping season. From icy roads to frigid temperatures, winter is full of supply chain challenges, but by planning and being proactive, you can make winter shipping less stressful. Here are some actions you can take to help your supply chain be successful this winter:
Regularly monitor weather conditions
Winter weather brings ice, snow and blizzards to much of North America. While weather is not always predictable, regularly monitoring forecasts and conditions can help you prepare for and plan around any weather-related delays your shipments could face. In addition to monitoring local conditions, keep an eye on weather nationwide – these weather conditions could impact supply chains across North America. If your freight is traveling a long distance, keep track of weather conditions along its route to prepare for any weather delays that could happen while it is in-transit.
Expect shipping delays and be proactive
When winter weather makes roadways dangerous, road closures, slowdowns and shipping delays are inevitable. Fast-changing weather quickly deteriorates road conditions as well. Additionally, the holiday season often increases road traffic around densely populated areas, slowing travel.
Be proactive when coordinating outbound shipments in winter by expecting delays. Plan to send your shipments early and allow more time for goods or materials to reach their destination, reducing the chance of missing a delivery deadline.
Protect temperature-sensitive cargo
Some goods and materials, such as food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, are at-risk for freezing or becoming damaged when exposed to cold temperatures. Even when shipping goods or materials from a warm climate, you must consider whether your shipment will travel through a climate with cold temperatures.
Using a temperature-controlled truck can help prevent temperature-sensitive goods from freezing by keeping your freight at a consistent temperature. For freight traveling a shorter distance that is not as much at-risk for freezing, you can also place blankets or tarps around goods to protect them from cold temperatures and wind long enough to safely reach their destination.
Partner with a 3PL who can help you overcome winter shipping challenges
Between winter weather, delays and keeping freight safe, winter is a challenging shipping season. It can be difficult for logistics coordinators to plan around winter weather while finding a reliable, safe carrier to transport their goods or materials.
Partnering with a trusted third-party logistics company, however, can help you successfully navigate the stressful and difficult winter shipping season. Look for a 3PL with an experienced team and dependable network of carriers to help coordinate your freight shipments this winter.
Red Kite Freight Solutions can help you with your winter shipping needs. With decades of combined logistics experience, our team understands the challenges shippers face in the winter and will find the best transportation solution for your unique shipping needs, whether you need climate-controlled freight to protect your goods or time-sensitive deliveries. Red Kite also has a reliable network of carriers and will find an experienced carrier who can help your freight arrive safely at its destination.