Bad Weather Has a Domino Effect On The Whole Supply Chain

November 3, 2021

HOW ARE SHIPPERS PREPPING FOR WEATHER DISRUPTIONS?

Across the industry, we have seen just how stressed the global supply chains are, from increased demand for goods to Covid-related labor shortages. On top of all these factors that are already overwhelming the supply chain systems, an extreme weather event could add even more stress. Weather can cause havoc to the complexities of logistics planning and create a domino effect that can bring deliveries to a standstill if not properly addressed.

It is the tail end of hurricane season and the Gulf of Mexico is a frequent target for tropical storms and home to about 16% of the nation’s crude oil production and 2% of its gas output. The coastal areas along the Gulf are home to almost half of U.S. fuel refineries and are major agricultural hubs as well.1

As we enter into winter, it only takes one powerful storm to have a huge impact on the countrys supply chains. Whether its gas and oil, or food, all organizations in the supply chain should have at least a basic plan for managing the potential aftermath of a storm. Additionally, the demand for different goods and services change as a result of weather conditions, which in turn affect deliveries. Bad weather in one part of the country not only impacts the surrounding area but also creates issues for all related routes.

Cross-border deliveries in North America are heavily impacted by the weather as 63.3% of the goods are transported by trucks.2 As road conditions worsen due to storms, many deliveries are postponed, causing longer wait time for customers.

“We have always prepped for bad weather by working with our carrier network in advance so that we can rely on them. They were able to give us heads up if they knew the weather was going to get bad in an area or if carriers were planning on avoiding certain areas and what not. We were then able to let our customers know so they weren’t blindsided,” said Jacquelyn Paul, Simple Logistics Director of Marketing and Support. “We also constantly update our customers when there is bad weather, even if it’s bad news we keep them posted.”

Technological developments, such as advanced weather modeling and forecasts, allow brokers to make more efficient shipping and transportation choices, especially when figuring route optimization and fuel purchasing.

According to Brian Milne, energy editor at DTN, “weather-informed route optimization can be used for trucking and ground transportation as well. Software that notifies drivers which routes are open or have minimal traffic flow saves time and money. Optimizing routes for drivers also makes them more likely to deliver goods on time, saving on fuel costs as well.”

 

What are shippers, like Simple Logistics, doing to prepare?

  • Consolidating shipments – We are on the look-out for consolidation opportunities that you normally wouldn’t use.
  • Multi-modal options – Creative transportation solutions are where we excel and can improve capacity options. Our team is trained to problem solve and get the shipment delivered.
  • Technology support – We have a strong TMS system operated by an attentive freight brokerage team that stays on top of any potential problems and responds quickly to get the shipment back on track. Being quick to identify and react to problems can be critical to preventing catastrophic impacts.

While technology continues to improve enabling these insights to be useful in better logistics planning, weather impacts cant be completely avoided. But Simple Logistics utilizes industry experience, technology, and an attentive team to minimize the impact of weather disruptions.

Work with a team who will streamline and simplify your logistics, we do the hard stuff for you. We make it SIMPLE! Talk with our supportive and available logistics team about how to prep for your shipping needs. 

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Sources:

1. https://gcaptain.com/seasons-first-tropical-storm-warnings-issued-for-gulf-coast/?subscriber=true&goal=0_f50174ef03-d0d9453fbc-170175149&mc_cid=d0d9453fbc&mc_eid=851ede4085&utm_source=bambu&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=advocacy

2. https://www.bts.gov/newsroom/2017-north-american-freight-numbers

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