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The logistics and supply chain industry can be unpredictable at times, and that’s why planning ahead is crucial when navigating into a new season. A time of year that can cause a lot of headaches for those in the industry is the winter months, as the weather is constantly changing and can become extreme, which in turn affects shipping times and overall supply chain success.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare your supply chain for the upcoming winter season:
1. Monitor weather
When planning or tracking shipments, you should closely monitor the weather in the areas along the route, and most importantly, the final destination. While weather reports are not always completely accurate, being up to date on weather patterns will help your team plan for any potential setbacks.
Your team should always be ready to find an alternate shipping route, if needed. Winter storms are often unpredictable, but being able to quickly, and efficiently, find new solutions and shipping routes for your clients is extremely valuable.
2. Manage your time
Because of the rush around the holiday season, many people are looking for fast, and even next-day, deliveries. When possible, provide ample lead time on shipments so that other routes and options can be explored in the event of inclement weather.
Also make sure you are managing shipping time expectations with your clients, and take into account any delays that could arise because of bad weather. Winter storms can lead to port, runway, and road closures and congestion, so it is important to be nimble, flexible and willing to find new solutions in order to best meet your clients’ needs.
Ensuring that those who are making the shipments feel as though they have realistic timelines will also decrease the number of accidents or mistakes.
3. Protect your freight
If you are shipping any products that can be sensitive to the cold, such as perishables, chemicals, and paints, remember that many modes of transportation will not provide protection from freezing temperatures. Checking for major storms and bad weather is vital, but don’t forget to keep an eye on the temperature predictions as well.
Staying in contact with clients and providing them with full transparency in regards to their shipments is key for success in the supply chain industry. Keeping everyone in the loop will establish trust and allow clients time to adjust for any delays.
Also be sure to have clear lines of communication open for all employees, as your team will need to make quick decisions if bad weather arises and you need to change routes.
Supply chains must be flexible in order to survive the winter season. Interested in how TOC Logistics can provide a custom winter solution plan for you? Contact us today. We want to help your shipments get where they need to be, on time.