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Severe Weather and International Freight Shipping

international freight shipping

Of all the issues that international freight shipping carriers encounter on the road, severe weather conditions pose the most significant challenge.

Hurricanes impacted much of the East and Southeast coasts with intense flooding and power outages, causing road and terminal closures as well as dangerous (if not impossible) driving conditions in some areas. Here are a few things to expect when inclement weather strikes the international freight shipping industry.

Safety First

Anyone who’s traveled in a plane has likely experienced delays related to severe weather. The airway industry must be sensitive to weather conditions at both a flight’s origin and finish. The primary reaction to bad weather is to postpone or cancel scheduled flights. This reality means that it can take quite some time for the airlines to get back in equilibrium.

The same holds for domestic auto transport and trucking – carriers must decide whether to serve these risky geographic regions during severe weather – or avoid them entirely. Are roadways within your area open and accessible? If the answer is no, you can probably expect some delays with the arrival of your freight.

Massive Delays

Cargo from weather-ravaged areas tends to decline immediately because those clientele have closed or scaled back. Carriers will also place temporary embargoes on shipments heading into those areas and not make pickups at all. How long it takes to restore your supply chain to balance largely depends on the efficiency of relief in impacted regions.

The Department of Transportation must make damage assessments as flooding recedes, ensuring roads are clear of tree parts and rubble. Even as conditions improve, drivers have to obey reduced speed limits and take alternate routes during their commute in the days and weeks following a disaster.

Dramatic Consequences

LTL shippers tend to be very focused on staying on schedule. However, the only way to accomplish such a feat is to ensure everything in the freight industry is in balance. Hurricanes and massive storms can leave the trucking industry in chaos for a significant amount of time.

It’s important not to underestimate the consequences of severe weather on international freight companies. At PPLUS, we are in contact with all our drivers and continuously monitor the nation’s weather. We know where your cargo is at all times and can keep you updated at every step of the way.