Winter freight shipping always tests the strength of the logistics industry and e-commerce. Between unpredictable winter storms and the holiday push, supply chains everywhere face challenges to meet deadlines and satisfy customer demands. Optimize your logistics performance by putting a plan in place to ensure peak performance during the winter months. Below is a quick list of the top winter freight shipping tips to help guide you and keep your supply chain hot during the trickiest time for shipping.
Expect the Unexpected
Unless you live in Florida, winter is synonymous with snowstorms. And you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know the effects a snowstorm has on highways and freight shipping. Winter storm related delays should be expected and incorporated into the planning of your winter freight shipping strategy. Have a plan B mapped out and ready to use.
If you need to get your shipment somewhere at a specific time, consider expedited shipping options. While expedited shipping options come at a higher cost, the risks of shipping something not expedited could mean longer transit times, unhappy customers and increases the potential for negative reviews.
Winter freight shipping forces supply chains to think about the big picture and make largescale changes and adjustments. However, the little things must be kept in mind, too. Arguably the most important part of any winter freight shipment is the well-being of shipping labels.
The winter months can cause water damage to labels from rain or snow. Covering labels with plastic or laminating them prevents the elements from obstructing bar codes or making addresses unreadable. If the labels can’t be scanned or clearly show shipping information like the appropriate name and address, it’ll bring on a whole heap of trouble that you can’t afford during the busiest time of the year.
It’s not uncommon for companies to have distribution centers across of a variety of locations. Businesses with a larger budget benefit greatly by incorporating warehousing into their supply chain. It helps them cope with the change in market activity by allowing quicker pickups and drop-offs. It also reduces the risk of late shipments caused by winter weather delays. Pinpointing common shipping destinations and utilizing warehouses keeps things running smoothly during busy and risky shipping times.
If your business doesn’t have the means to add warehousing to your supply chain, there are still ways to manage storage and distribution and ship efficiently. Using a third-party logistics company (3PL) helps your shipping department get the benefits of warehousing without spending the big bucks to utilize one. 3PLs specialize in finding smarter lane options to move freight in the winter conditions and with discounted rates.
The cost benefit of warehousing is appealing to businesses of any size looking to streamline their storage and distribution processes. Rather than eating the costs that come with delayed, lost or damaged shipments, investing or planning to invest in warehousing can alleviate these risks and lead to more profitable, effective shipping.
Know Your Deadlines
There are some important dates to know if you want shipments to arrive at certain times. Freight carriers set shipping deadlines based on volume and labor availability. And all the major parcel carriers have shipping cutoff dates that you need to know in order to have your shipment/s arrive in time for the holidays. Stay in the loop by referring to our 9 Days of Shipping guide with shipping deadlines from your favorite parcel carriers.
Partner with a 3PL
Partnering with a third-party shipping solutions provider has many benefits, especially during peak shipping season. A 3PL has the technology and expertise to centralize your search for the best rates and shipping options.
Partnering with a 3PL like FreightCenter gives you the flexibility to control your supply chain and helps you improve your logistics performance, especially during the winter season. Our large network of carriers guarantees competitive rates, and our experts work with you to craft custom solutions that save you time and meet the demands of your customers.
We can help guide your supply chain through the winter freight shipping storm this season. Get a free quote today or call our shipping experts (800) 716-7608.