How Severe Weather Impacts Trucking Industry?

Temperatures are slowly dropping around the country. What does this mean for the trucking industry? We saw this last year with one of the worst winters on record and how it caught many in the trucking industry and supply chain off guard.

Trucks got stuck on congested, unplowed highways. Railroads couldn’t clear snow from the tracks fast enough for trains to get through. Snow and ice made it impossible for planes to safely land and take off. As one delay piled on top of the next we saw the supply chain disrupted across North America.

Aspects of the trucking industry and supply chain that are affected by severe weather include:

Delivery issues

Severe weather conditions can make it risky and sometimes impossible to deliver their shipments to their destination. Heavy rain, high winds, snow, and ice can cause delays in product being delivered. With delays in product arrival, this can result in low inventory and can sometimes cause a surge in prices if the supply cannot meet the demand.


Weather cannot cause delays in product delivery but can cause issues in production. Also, there could be a shortage of raw materials due to production and this can result in a shortage of finished products.

Develop a plan and be ready when (not if) the bad weather strikes

First, by investing in logistics management/routing software. When road conditions prevent carriers from accessing pre-planned routes, software can help fleet managers re-route and find a viable way to get shipments delivered on time. This software can minimize the time it takes to find safe routes and increase the chance of a timely shipment.

Build a strong relationship with your 3PL

Build a true partnership with your 3PL, loyalty during tough times does count for a lot. We are loyal to the clients that are loyal to us and long term this pays off for both sides.

Be Agile

Appointments can help keep your supply chain on track and reduce confusion and workload. Work with your stakeholder’s to remind them that short term issues call for agility and that once the situation normalizes so can their procedures.


Educate your company, especially your Customer Service and Sales teams about how weather affects capacity. Communication is the key in any situation where your trucking industry and supply chain are impacted by factors beyond your control.

Lastly don’t forget to talk to upper management. Being brought into the loop while the issue is happening will give them insight into why any additional costs or changes were necessary.