Weather Related Shipping Disasters & How to Avoid themAnna Lee
While it may be the most wonderful time of the year for celebrations, it’s a nightmare for any company that ships goods. Temperatures impact products, weather conditions slow traffic, accidents are more likely (and therefore damage to your packages), and roads close. Sometimes a package making it safely to your customer on time is a Christmas miracle.
Since you can’t control the weather, you need to take other steps to ensure your package is as safe and timely as possible. Here are some important things to add to your checklist:
- Keep an eye on the weather and plan ahead.
Weather predictions aren’t always accurate, but if you know a certain part of your shipping route expects to get hit with bad weather, your logistics department may be able to alternative routes or schedules. As the Janio company suggests in its blog “Shipping Delays: How to Plan for and Deal With Them:”
“Ask your logistics partners to keep you updated on port and weather conditions and to notify you right away whenever plane or vessel delays occur, including frequent updates during severe weather…”
- Update your customers immediately.
If you know your package is in danger of being delayed or damaged, communicate with them right away. Dedicate a customer service channel to the issue, and keep in regular communication about the status of the package. Customers know the weather is out of your control, and you can still make this an opportunity to delight them. Not knowing is the worst, and you can smooth over a lot of frustration by reassuring your customers that you’re doing everything you can.
- Offer alternatives if possible.
If there’s any advice you can give your customer about how to manage without your product in the short term, or if there’s something else of value you can provide (free shipping, discount, other fees waived), give your customer something to help ease the pain.
- Do your due diligence in package protection.
Delays aren’t the only major problem during the winter. Damages are more likely, so you must be thorough in your packaging. Don’t cut corners, and protect according to the package type, like individual boxes vs pallets. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Choose the right size container
- Choose appropriate filler to protect the goods
- Select material with the integrity to withstand the journey
- If your load doesn’t fit your pallets, don’t “make it fit”
- Avoid loose or irregular loads in pallets
- Don’t load trucks too tightly or too loosely
- Use proper stretch wrapping
Winter weather creates more opportunity for damage to your package. If you have fragile, larger, and/or heavy goods to ship, you may need custom packaging to protect your assets. Packnet’s engineers are experts at protecting the extraordinary. Oversized product? We can also wrap and/or crate onsite in certain areas. Call us for a free assessment if you need extra help protecting your goods this season. 952.944.9124