Why choosing the right carrier can affect or prevent winter transport

As the temperature drops, the challenging daily winter weather driving conditions increase. As we head into mid-November, wintry perils are looming across much of the United States, increasing the chance that the weather will wreak havoc on shipping operations.

According to the US Department of Transportation, an estimated 23% of all freeway delays are due to snow, ice and fog. In an average year, about 22% of all property damage accidents occur in inclement weather, or about 919,700 incidents, and most weather-related accidents occur on wet roads and in the rain.

For carriers, weather-related delays and damage will inevitably take a financial toll and hurt the carrier’s reputation with customers. While they can be reimbursed through a freight claims process, the company still suffers from lost inventory, revenue and time.

Shippers expect carriers to protect their cargo from the elements and ensure it arrives intact. After all, part of a trucking company’s job is responding to the daily weather and the considerations and challenges that come with it, as well as communicating critical shipment updates to the carriers.

As winter approaches, carriers need to know that the carriers they work with will provide reliable service regardless of the weather.

The best way to determine how reliable a trucker is when the weather turns inclement is to look at a trucker’s years of everyday safety practices.

“If an airline has a strong safety culture and is ready to act at any time of crisis, then severe weather is not a major factor. Customers should be able to rely on their trucker to deliver their product safely and on time, regardless of the weather, equipment failure, traffic, etc.,” said Rick Simpson, vice president of operations at PGT Trucking, a trucking company that provides excellence in flatbed trucking .

Strong weather security begins long before the first drop of rain or snowflakes, so shippers should look for carriers that have strong internal processes that proactively respond to inclement weather.

The USDOT reports that trucking companies lose 32.6 billion vehicle hours annually due to weather-related congestion in 281 metropolitan areas across the country. Because drivers have a limited number of hours to drive each day, these slowdowns could force a driver to turn off early, potentially resulting in a delayed delivery.

Every day, all of PGT Trucking’s shipping routes are uploaded to an innovative weather information platform, giving the company key insights into potential weather-related risks and enabling them to plan accordingly.

PGT’s use of innovative technology, including its asset tracking software, allows the company to anticipate and respond to severe weather before it becomes an issue by providing shippers with real-time updates on their truck locations, routes and delivery times.

While weather tracking software is an effective tool, shippers must still implement an action plan for each shipment to mitigate exposure to the elements.

“Haulers need to understand the goods they are working with and how sensitive those goods are to the elements, and ensure they take the necessary steps to protect that cargo so that it is delivered in the condition the customer expects,” said Simpson.

In the vertical flatbed, cargo is more exposed to the weather, especially in winter, so planning is crucial to preserve the integrity of the shipment. PGT will ensure that all goods are tarpaulined at the time of loading unless otherwise specified by the shipper. If severe weather is expected en route, the company will take additional precautions, such as B. attaching an additional layer of tarpaulin to protect the freight even better from the weather.

Once the cargo is loaded, shippers can be assured that PGT drivers are well-placed to deliver the shipment safely and securely due to their ongoing load securing and safety training. Riders are encouraged to routinely check their equipment, including tarps, to ensure everything is in order. They are also equipped with tarpaulin repair kits, so if the tarpaulin is damaged in transit, it can be repaired quickly and the load remains protected.

A high level of safety requires the involvement of all team members – from office staff to the experienced drivers handling cargo – and PGT encourages cross-departmental collaboration, encourages timely communication and improves driver and customer care through its open office structure.

“This full-service approach allows our operations and sales departments to be in constant communication with our drivers and our customers, sharing vital information throughout the day on delivery and collection times and weather conditions,” said Simpson. “Customers can better prepare their business by knowing these timely updates, and any specific product requirements can be quickly escalated to our operations team.”

Truckers who vet carriers to ensure they are working with a company that takes safety seriously year-round can have peace of mind as winter approaches and major weather events hit. Strong, consistent safety practices are a sure sign that a shipper knows what to do when bigger challenges arise.

At PGT Trucking, safety is an integral part of our culture – and has been for more than 40 years. Its thorough weather monitoring, preparedness and internal and external communications allow the company to ensure all cargo arrives safely and securely while shippers are kept informed at every step.

To learn more about PGT Trucking, click here.

Leave a Comment