Allen Lund Company and C.H. Robinson Prepare for the Approaching 2014 Polar Vortex
AMERICA - Weather forecasts predicting an approaching “polar vortex” across most of United States have the nation's shippers thinking back to last year when unplowed highways, traffic congestion, snow covered railroads, and mountains of ice and snow posed significant challenges for logistics companies.
"The polar vortex is a large pocket of very cold air, typically the coldest air in the Northern Hemisphere, which sits over the polar region," explained AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "Occasionally, this pocket of very cold air can get dislodged farther south than normal, leading to cold outbreaks in Canada and the U.S."
According to AccuWeather, only the Southwest, Hawaii, Alaska and South Florida are expected to be unaffected by this cold front. This year, however, logistics companies like C.H. Robinson and Allen Lund are prepared for the icy conditions.
"We work with very experienced drivers, especially those that run regular lanes through Colorado,” Brodie Donaldson, Manager for Allen Lund Company, Denver. “They know what to expect and we expect them to be prepared to face the challenges, weather related or otherwise to meet their delivery requirements."
"Customers are very specific with their pick-up and delivery schedules. Polar Vortex or not, what we experienced last year was that our customers expect that we will find a way to get the job done no matter the difficulty or associated cost, and that’s what we do," agreed Lenny Sciarappa, Manager for Allen Lund Company, Boston.
Peter Goldstein, Executive Director of Global Sales for C.H. Robinson has, in fact, published a blog post sharing 8 top tips to help growers adapt to the winter weather conditions.
"Like death and taxes, bad weather will occur sometime this year,” he shared. “Rather than leave things to chance, you can use these 8 tips to help you develop a plan to deal with the most common issues that arise with capacity and rates.”
These tips are:
- Don't try to time the market.
- Maintain a stable set of service providers from year to year.
- Understand what drives ongoing fluctuations in the market.
- Shipper-receiver relationships can have a significant impact on the carrier’s engagement and satisfaction.
- Be sure the transportation providers you are using are flexible.
- Look for a link between your inbound and outbound transportation strategy that wasn’t there before.
- Be flexible.
- Communicate within your own organization.
As Peter explained, harsh weather conditions are just another fact of life for logistics companies. It is, however, reassuring to see the extensive preparations companies like Allen Lund and C.H. Robinson have in place to make sure everything runs smoothly this holiday season.