As everyone gets in those last-minute online gift orders, many people have had to pay expedited shipping fees in order for items to arrive on time.
The extra payment may ensure their gift arrives quickly, but as a shipping provider, you know it’s harder than ever before to ensure timely deliveries.
Thanks to COVID-19, the entire supply chain has been stretched thin, and shipping costs have skyrocketed. It’s become a constant balancing act to keep shipments on time, while keeping costs low enough to not pass onto the consumer.
Unfortunately, one variable remains completely out of your control: the weather.
Weather always has an impact on shipping times, from high winds that make it unsafe to unload shipping containers to icy road conditions that slow down trucking ETAs.
Weather conditions can negatively impact your business, and lead to unhappy customers. So what can you do to keep your business and packages on track? Take control with weather intelligence.
Adapt to the Weather
When it comes to the weather, you really can’t do anything about it, right? Wrong.
While you can’t control the weather, you can control your response to it operationally. Rather than getting up in the morning to check the weather and scramble to make changes, you can plan ahead. What if you got proactive alerts that let you know exactly when and where the weather is going to impact your business?
By understanding the weather better, you can take action sooner and adapt your operations to the weather more quickly and efficiently. If you know a big snowstorm is due to hit the Northeast, for example, you can:
- Re-route shipments to avoid the worst of the storm.
- Proactively alert your delivery teams and staff more drivers to deal with slower drive times.
- Communicate proactively with customers to manage expectations and minimize complaints.
- Keep drivers safer on the road, limiting your liability and the risk of damaged goods.
This gives your business a massive advantage over competitors, enabling you to operate more efficiently – no matter the weather.
What is Weather Intelligence for Shipping?
This is the power of weather intelligence in action. Instead of scrambling to change your operations when a storm is about to hit, you’re already prepared and ready with a plan for handling inclement weather. Whether it’s a snowstorm or a hurricane, you know exactly what actions you need to take and where the impact will be most intense.
With a weather insights dashboard, you can see exactly what aspects of your business are most at risk and adjust accordingly.
Or, you can use a weather API to understand the weather along any route, tracking shipments carefully and automatically adjusting ETAs to reflect the weather. You can even use the API to trigger communications to customers, informing them of shipping delays sooner to better manage expectations and minimize complaints.
The ROI of Weather
While all of these changes save time, they also save your business money. By incorporating weather data into your shipping operations, you’ll be able to get shipments to their destination faster, with fewer delays and less wasted fuel and mileage. You can even automate alerts to drivers, encouraging them to drive safer routes during storms to minimize the risk of accidents while in transit.
Adapting to weather conditions means your business will not only become more efficient, but also safer for employees. This means saving money on shipping costs by sending goods along the most efficient route, and also saving on damage caused by weather-related accidents. The ROI of weather intelligence is impressive, once you see it in action.