weather effect

Winter Storm Elliott: You Can’t Control the Weather

Shivery and Snowy Weather on the Way

The Farmer’s Almanac has forecasted an exceptionally cold 2022/2023 winter season with lots of “snow, rain, and mush” and “an active storm pattern developing and hanging around for most of the season over the eastern half of the country.” 

And it looks like a major storm is brewing for the end of this week, just in time for Christmas. The Weather Channel has named this storm, Winter Storm Elliott, and predicts that Elliott will bring blizzard conditions to “parts of the Great Lakes as well as high winds to the East Coast.”

The National Weather Service has already issued winter storm alerts, watches and advisories–and some major cities–Chicago, Des Moines, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Omaha–are on the list. With the potential to dump a foot of snow, this first major storm of the season reminds us that preparedness is our best defense against supply chain disruption.

Extreme Weather Can and Will Disrupt Your Supply Chain

Snowstorms can wreak havoc in your supply chain causing limited truck capacity, late pickups and deliveries, and skyrocketing rates. But how does a snowstorm in the midwest affect your ability to get trucks in Texas?

It’s simple. Domestic trucking companies operate in a hub and spoke type of network. Trucks in the hub have outbound freight that takes them away from their home base, but in order to return home (while making money), these trucks need inbound freight. These runs out from and back into the hub are fairly predictable, so your freight broker can create freight networks, contract freight and stabilize rates.

However, when a blizzard shuts down the midwest, things get chaotic and fast. There’s a ripple effect because an ice storm in Chicago can prevent a truck from following its normal schedule. This one disruption can upend multiple freight networks. 

So let’s say you’re in Texas and you don’t understand why you can’t get a truck when it’s 95 degrees and sunny outside your manufacturing facility. Well, the problem here isn’t your weather in Texas–it’s Winter Storm Elliott ravaging the midwest with a foot of snow making it impossible for trucks with outbound freight to Texas to hit the road.

And that’s not where it ends. This disruption will affect the supply chain for weeks (even months). You see, that backlog of freight in the midwest still has to move. And when weather conditions improve, it will finally be shipped along with all the freight that’s been created in the meantime. You know what that means–limited truck capacity and elevated rates.

You can’t control the weather!

But you can work with a freight broker like AM Transport. Our team has been helping manufacturers like you for over 33 years. We know how the weather affects your supply chain, and we act proactively to make sure your freight keeps moving. We have relationships with carriers and facilities all along the supply chain, so when extreme weather occurs, we’ve got the connections, the technology, and the knowledge to help you weather the storm.

Don’t wait for the next big storm to hit.