Weather and the Shipping Industry

Weather can be an issue for all sides of the shipping industry. It can wreak havoc on your ETA when you least expect it and change your shipping window without notice. These are only the smallest of the details that can happen as a result of severe and sudden weather changes. What many people do not realize is that all parts of the supply chain can be negatively impacted by the weather and as a result financial loss can occur. Products such as alcohol may be affected by extreme weather if the supplier does not use reefer containers to control temperatures. This is also true of perishables and other products that are temperature specific but moisture levels and ships rocking in the stormy seas can be a factor as well. Shipping companies themselves are affected by the weather since with delays at port, but there are also changes in transit times which can elevate costs. Sometimes shipping companies can rely on reports from specific ships to advise severe weather, but this largely unreliable given the sporadic reports. To combat this they may use a company who is set up to track weather along shipping lanes to advise which way ships should go to avoid potential problems. It is much like having a GPS for weather on the ship. The weather affects everyone all throughout the supply chain. Time is money and weather can be unpredictable at times, but rest assured that if you are having a weather related issue in your supply chain, you are not alone.