Summer time is in full swing! With it comes abundant sunshine, heat and caravans of anxious travelers out on the roads headed to their vacation destinations. For most of us, summer means fun and relaxation, but for shippers in the logistics industry, summer time can present extra challenges on the job:
Traffic patterns change in the summer. During the school months, traffic is pretty much isolated to the early mornings and late afternoons. But in the summer, traffic can be expected at almost any time of the day or night as cars full of vacationing families take over the roads.
While truck drivers may be the ones directly dealing with the hustle and bustle of the summertime roads, shippers are not immune. If trucks get stuck in summer related traffic issues, it’s more likely they’ll be late to their scheduled drop-offs and pick-ups at shippers. Try building some extra time in your schedule to lessen the impact of summer traffic delays.
Warehouse energy costs can increase in the summer. The summer heat can cause extra problems for certain products like produce, meat, paint and confections. If you’re storing products like these in your warehouse during the summer, you’ll likely to need to ramp up your refrigeration and cooling systems to keep the products from spoiling.
Refrigeration can’t be sacrificed, so you’ll have to absorb these extra energy costs to keep your product safe. To offset the extra energy costs of increased refrigeration, try turning the lights down in times of low demand.
Heat related problems become more prevalent in the summer. Heat can take a toll on how effectively trucks operate and driver health. Tire breakdowns are more common in summer because high temperatures increase tire pressure resulting in tire over-inflation. Ultimately, this can lead to delays that can impact your schedule at the shipping warehouse.
Summer heat is also linked to driver fatigue, and fatigued drivers can’t cover ground as efficiently as they can when at their healthiest. As a shipper, make sure you’re being attentive to your drivers’ needs and showing them utmost care. While you should communicate with your drivers regardless of the time of year, try increasing your communication in the summer months. Make it a point to more frequently ask your drivers how they’re feeling and how their truck is running. This can help you plan your schedule accordingly.
Ultimately, building a buffer of time into your shipping schedule and communicating frequently with drivers can help you to operate more effectively and efficiently during the summer months and avoid any summer-related problems!