Uncertain and inevitable weather events like winter storms, hurricanes, polar vortices, or wildfires bring the supply chain to a halt. But delivery companies cannot wait for the uneven weather to stop.

Logistics businesses have the responsibility to operate their supply chains when there are interruptions like winter storms or extreme temperature swings. These season-induced logistics breakdowns cause maximum vehicle downtime.

Vehicle downtime

Vehicle downtime is the time in which a vehicle is pulled out of the service until the driver resumes the work. It is the period of time during which a vehicle is not operating or is unavailable. One should not misunderstand repair time with downtime.

Types of vehicle downtime

Vehicle downtimes occur due to planned reasons or unplanned reasons. Downtimes that occur due to planned reasons are called planned downtime. Downtimes that occur due to unplanned reasons are called unplanned downtime.

Unplanned vehicle downtime

Unplanned vehicle downtime

Vehicles spend off the road because of incidents like collisions, breakdowns, delays in service/maintenance, or repair schedules. They attract less visible costs or soft costs to be charged on the budget

Ex:
  • Cost of replacing a vehicle and ruined goods
  • Paying drivers for unscheduled stops
  • Inability to deliver goods OnTime and In Full
  • Idle staff hours
Planned vehicle downtime

Planned vehicle downtime

Planned downtime is the time during which activity in a company slows down due to the implementation of new technology, refresher training, vehicle inspections, scheduled servicing, etc.

Ex:
  • Towing charges
  • Lost revenue
  • Temporary rental
  • Employee overtime

Impact of logistics breakdowns on supply chain during winter

Capacity

Capacity

When trucking capacity is not maintained, it leads to some vehicle stoppage midway. Especially during winters, it becomes difficult to reallocate alternative vehicles when the majority of the trucks are off the roads.

Road closures

Road closures

Road closures are one of the biggest hindrances that cold weather provides when businesses set out to deliver products. Beyond affecting traffic speed, they result in increased travel time, and dangerous driving conditions that hold higher risk of accidents.

Stockouts

Stockouts

Due to a sudden purchase spike the store shelves get emptied quickly following power outages. This oscillates people towards online shopping putting increased pressure on fleet drivers to work on tight delivery schedules.

Lead times

Lead times

When people order products online during winter seasons, lead times become quite unpredictable. As the parcel volumes keep piling up, it becomes difficult to schedule deliveries and plan ETAs.

Rejected loads

Rejected loads

As logistics breakdowns during winters make it challenging to execute on-time deliveries, there are greater occurrences of rejected loads. This results in increased wait times and idling costs because it is tough during winters to find alternate receivers of products.

Delayed shipments

Delayed shipments

Unusual weather conditions, coupled with limited vehicle capacity and driver shortage triggers logistics breakdowns, thereby leading to delivery delays.

Rising costs

Rising costs

Logistics breakdowns during winters lead to a spike in costs through ripple effects of delayed deliveries, increased demand and reduced supply.

How delivery logistics software helps smartly weather-proof logistics operations

Plan your deliveries early

Plan your deliveries early

Helps to plan alternate safe stops when there are extreme weather conditions, thereby reducing issues facing Hours of Service (HOS). Enables fleet managers to plan routes based on road conditions and vehicle capacity.

Facilitate effective communication

Enables logistics businesses to conduct smooth internal and external communications when there are logistics breakdowns. External communication informs customers about delivery delays through alerts. Internal communication facilitates organizational communication on additional costs due to weather issues.

Facilitate effective communication
Flexibility in deliveries

Flexibility in deliveries

Provides flexibility in assigning drivers to different delivery windows based on safety restrictions. Offers a greater sense of control to customers to reschedule their deliveries when there are uneven weather events.

Make proper vehicle selection

Helps fleet managers to run vehicle capacity checks before planning delivery scheduled for drivers. Enables them to prepare delivery schedules based on vehicles that confront extreme weather situations.

Make proper vehicle selection
Effective rerouting capability

Effective rerouting capability

Enables drivers to improve their First Attempt Delivery Rates (FADR), without burdening them with tight delivery time windows. Helps fleet managers to quickly reassign deliveries to nearby drivers when there is a weather-driven vehicle stoppage, reducing failed and missed deliveries.

Track scheduled vehicle maintenance

Helps logistics manager proactively monitor the length of time vehicles spend in garages. Its insights minimizes chances for weather-induced accidents, thereby reducing the maintenance costs.

Make proper vehicle selection

Locus: A tool to tackle logistics breakdowns and target customers

Locus Delivery logistics software helps fleet managers track, identify and rectify weather-induced vehicle breakdowns. It enables logistics businesses to manage efficiency standards during winter without compromising safety standards. It improves the fleet's capabilities to handle weather issues and enhance customer satisfaction.

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How can Locus help manage your logistics?

  • Locus’ proprietary geocoding engine converts the fuzziest of the addresses into precise geographical coordinates thereby helping your on-ground executives locate addresses easily.
  • Digitize all your operational variables such as fleets, delivery persons, etc to come up with the best route plan every day.
  • Track your orders in real-time with the Locus Live Dashboard. Locus’ last-mile delivery app Locus On The Road (LOTR) helps delivery partners process orders.
  • Visualize and tweak your scheduled plans via three key metrics— geography, time, & vehicle(fleet)—with a birds-eye view of your entire operations.
  • Build your own reports and analyze important parameters that you need to make key decisions.

Join Industry Leaders:

$100 M+
Logistics costs reduced
100+ Years
Planning time saved
6300 + Tonnes
GHG emissions reduced

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