The influx of holiday purchases is not the only problem that the supply chain finds itself dealing with as the holiday season kicks into full swing. There is also the very important matter of the wintry weather and the possibility of temperature-sensitive goods freezing. What can be done to mitigate this?
First of all, being better able to anticipate delays in transportation and map suppliers that might be affected by freezing temperatures or big storms is a good idea. This can help protect against the havoc caused by big winter storms.
Last winter saw a record-breaking blizzard hit the mid-Atlantic states, grinding freight transport to a halt for days as several major cities contended with as much as three feet of snow. Thousands of flights of freight cargo were grounded when major hubs closed, and this left a lot of goods sitting around in freezing temperatures.
Physical Protection from the Elements
Another step firms can take is to put some physical protections in place. Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) can help develop and implement a plan to protect shipments that are sensitive to low temperatures.
A 3Pl might find ways for shipments to be moved earlier than usual when bad weather is on the horizon, for example. With products like chemicals, electronics and perishable foods all likely to be rendered completely ruined if they are kept below freezing for an extended period, some 3PLs might arrange insulated or heated trailers with specific carriers. Another approach that can prove useful in this situation is temperature-sensitive load planning and routing. Finally, cargo quilt thermal blanketing and on-site snow removal round out the steps that can help protect shipments from the elements.
Those transporting temperature-sensitive items will need to look out for freeze protection services to keep things moving and ensure that products arrive safely no matter what Mother Nature throws at them.
This blog post was based off of an article from Tampa Bay Business Journal. View the original here.