How Bad Weather Affects the Shipping Industry

Bad weather can significantly affect several aspects of business operations. It should come as no surprise that snow and ice can also cause delays in the shipping industry. Delayed deliveries can cause big headaches this time of year, especially since customers are expecting orders to arrive in time for the holidays.

Types of Shipping Industry Delays

Businesses must understand how bad weather can impact the shipping industry and its operations. All forms of shipping can undergo delays when winter storms hit, including planes, ships, and trucking.

The trucking industry typically experiences the most significant setbacks as they could have a difficult time navigating icy roads and traffic jams. Further delays can be expected with road closures and lengthy detours, as well.

When airplanes are delayed, it can be challenging for customers to understand why their deliveries aren’t arriving on time because the bad weather isn’t necessarily local. However, many businesses ship nationally, and when commercial flights are canceled, packages sit and wait in a hub until flights resume. The delay is even worse if the bad weather occurs in states not equipped to manage winter weather.

Ships can face setbacks with ice buildup in shipping lanes as well as when ports are closed due to the weather. Depending on the severity, they may have to find an alternate port or sit on the water until the ports reopen.

The Solution

While businesses can do very little about the weather, they do have full control over the shipping services used. When it comes to shipping nationally, work with a company that uses real-time weather data to plan routes, and make changes quickly. These companies often experience fewer delays because they prepare in advance for what is to come.

It makes sense to use a local courier service and LTL or rush trucking services for your local needs. Courier companies are usually able to still make deliveries in a timely fashion with minor delays during bad weather because they use smaller vehicles and are familiar with road conditions. In addition, many courier companies take the extra steps to protect packages from moisture by covering them in plastic. One of the final benefits of using a courier service is the timely updates they send to keep you informed on the delivery progress, so you never have to guess what is happening.

Econo-Courier offers courier and rush trucking options to businesses throughout the entire North East region for customers across the country. Contact us today for more information!