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How to take the sting out of winter weather at your warehouse

Bad winter weather can impact your warehouse operations more than you might realize. Sure, there are obvious effects like increased heating bills, and the time, cost and efforts needed to keep driveways, parking lots and sidewalks clear of ice and snow. 

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Inclement winter weather can also have far-reaching impacts on operations. We’re going to take a look at what some of these are, and how you can use digital tools like yard management and dock scheduling to stop winter from freezing up your warehouse operation. 

Blizzards block the roads

A big blizzard is nothing out of the ordinary in northern parts of North America. But the freezing temperatures, high winds and heavy snowfall that they entail often wreak havoc on transportation. When the highways become impassable with drifts and whiteouts, trucks don’t make their destinations on time, and at worst may end up in the ditch and not get there at all. 

But business must go on. If your customer has ordered products, you need to deliver it. But without a truck to bring it in our ship it out you have a problem. So, what can you do at your facility to mitigate the effects of these dangerous storms? 

With automated dock scheduling software like C3 Reservations backing you up, you gain flexibility in adjusting schedules to work around the inclement weather. If you’re managing your inbound trucks using a spreadsheet and keeping tabs with phone calls and emails, and event like a storm can overwhelm your system. 

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Suddenly every driver is delayed or can’t make it, and your staff are left scrambling, and over busy trying to reschedule and juggle incoming loads. This is where mistakes start to happen that can cost thousands of dollars. And that’s if your staff are even able to make it to work themselves. If the trucks aren’t rolling, transit and private cars may not be going far either. 

But with C3 Reservations running the show, bookings are automated and drivers can adjust their ETAs in the system, allowing it to alert you and let you decide how to handle the situation. When the storm clears and you end up with multiple loads inbound at once, C3 Solutions can prioritize the dock bookings based on your own parameters, ensuring the most time-sensitive cargo gets to the dock first. 

Snow is piling up in the yard

Snow events are not just a risk for inbound trucks. Your yard may be piling up with the white stuff faster than your snow clearing team can keep it clear. If you rely on outside contractors to do the job, they’re going to be plenty busy elsewhere and might not show up. 

And again, a storm in your area doesn’t mean your customers enjoying a clear sunny day will understand it when you say “we can’t ship your order because it’s snowing.” Avoiding saying that sentence should be priority one. 

This is where yard management, C3 Yard, comes to the rescue. It gives you precise control and information about where every trailer is in your yard, and lets you prioritize which trailers should be cleared free of snow so that can be unloaded when needed. So when you are using your yard as backup storage, you can count on being able to get at that inventory just as if it was inside the four walls of your warehouse.

Likewise, if you need a trailer to load, you’ll know where to start digging! C3 Yard gives you control-tower visibility into all your assets, where they are and what priority they should be given. When the weather throws you a curveball, C3 Yard’s rules-based system gives you all the control you need to adapt and keep your goods moving.

 It also keeps track of what’s happening at the gates, so if a truck makes it through the storm without a reservation, you’ll be able to react accordingly. C3 Yard gives you full visibility into what’s moving and parked in your yard. 

We can’t control the weather

C3 Reservations can’t change the weather, and C3 Yard can’t clear the snow for you. But together these two automated systems can deliver preparedness and peace of mind when winter weather threatens to disrupt operations. 

And with climate change affecting weather patterns all year long, making these adaptations will help prepare you for all kinds of nasty weather events. No matter what time of year. 

To find out more about how C3 can help you prepare for what you can’t control, get in touch and we’ll be happy to share a demo