As we have seen by the recent storms, winter has arrived to most parts of the U.S. It does not take a great deal of unsettled weather for driving conditions to deteriorate and late deliveries begin piling up. Regional weather impacts can have the most dramatic impact on customer service as carriers will shut down operations during snowstorms and cease any pickup or delivery operations. If the region impacted is within your shipments transit lane there is a good chance for a delay in transit. The wider challenge with regional weather disruptions is communication within your customer outreach and your internal customer service teams.
Three Rules of the Road:
If your average length of haul exceeds 500 miles, regional weather patterns may disrupt on-time delivery. Having a formalized communication plan to advise your customer service team of adverse weather conditions also acts as an alert to your customers that deliveries may be delayed due to weather.
Keeping a good grasp on your different shipping modes also helps in identifying the impact of adverse weather to your customer. LTL carriers will shut down terminals and limit line-haul runs in impacted areas delaying shipments destined to or traveling through the region. Truckload carriers may hold off on pickups or have drivers wait out the storm. The proximity of your shipping location to interstates and major highways plays a major factor in carriers meeting the demands of your business.
Extended planning windows can play a big part in forecasting which shipments may be in jeopardy of missing delivery windows. Using weather data, shipment transit paths that may be in line with winter weather can be shipped early or delivery dates pushed in order to maintain compliance with the customer must arrive by dates.