3 Ways Bad Weather Can Affect Package Shipping & Delivery

3 Ways Bad Weather Can Affect Package Shipping & Delivery

3 Ways Bad Weather Can Affect Package Shipping & Delivery

Global and domestic supply chains are vital in running the world and providing people with all the necessities in their everyday lives. To manage this complex business and deliver everything on schedule, logistics businesses must overcome various obstacles, bad weather being the biggest one.

Have some cargo you need to transport but are afraid that it’ll get damaged in transit due to mother nature’s tantrums? Read on to find out more about how bad weather affects the shipping and delivery of packages and some practical ways to soften the blow and protect items from getting lost and destroyed.

Types of Bad Weather

Transportation firms and secure courier services always have to find ways to ensure the safety and delivery of cargo while also ensuring their drivers’ safety and well-being in the face of bad weather. The most common weather conditions include: 

Heavy Rain

Heavy rain is the most common natural occurrence that drivers must deal with. Rain makes roads slippery, causing drivers to slow down or stop driving completely if it becomes too dangerous. Heavy rain also leads to increased traffic, causing delays in deliveries.  Extensive rain can also lead to flooding that can damage the packages.

High Winds

Another dangerous natural force, high winds obstruct roads, impact the stability of vehicles, and force speed reductions. High winds can occur on their own or accompany heavy rain as part of a storm and can be very hazardous to people on the roads.

Natural Disasters

Hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, and floods cause terrible damage in the areas they occur. Roads shut down, and the movement of goods is delayed, causing businesses millions of dollars in losses.

Snow and Ice

Important roads might become covered by heavy snow and ice, creating significant traffic delays and poor visibility. Trucks must change their routes, and drivers may experience danger on the road. Snow can also cause shipment delays and airline disruptions.

How Weather Affects Shipment Deliveries

  1. Closed  Roads

Roads are often closed when natural disasters such as floods or snow accumulate on the road. That means alternative routes must be taken, extending the transit time. While it is difficult to wait, keeping drivers safe is essential, and it also means that packages are secure, even though they’ll arrive later than planned.

  1. Closed Terminals

A freight terminal is an industrial setting where cargo is loaded and uploaded. Usually, these terminals are located in airports, rail yards, and seaports. They are the primary center points for local and international transportation and allow for the consolidation and distribution of cargo to different areas worldwide.

Much like roads, terminals may be closed temporarily or are open with limited capacity due to abnormal weather. Terminals can either close entirely or conduct limited operations. This isn’t just for the facility’s safety but for the people working in that terminal keeping it operational. 

  1. Power Outages

Hurricanes, tornadoes, severe blizzards, and other natural disasters damage infrastructure, power lines, and communication channels. 

That makes it challenging to do vital things during the shipping process, like getting updates and statuses on deliveries. Additionally, truckers can’t fill up at gas stations in an impacted area, which causes further delays.

Means of Transport Affected


Most cargo shipped abroad is transported by air. While air travel is a bit less restrictive, as planes can fly above the weather, landing and take-off can’t be done when weather conditions worsen. Storms of any kind can hamper parcels that rely on air travel, causing delays.

Travel by aircraft is frequently delayed due to weather. The weather alone can be to blame for up to half of all such delays in the U.S. Additionally, unexpected turbulence costs American carriers $100 million annually.

Airlines must, therefore, carefully evaluate weather predictions to determine whether flying is safe. The advanced electronics inside modern airplanes can track the atmosphere while in flight and transmit that information to meteorologists. 3 Ways Bad Weather Can Affect Package Shipping & Delivery


Trucking is the most common method of cargo transportation. Adverse weather conditions on the road are not just inconvenient; they are often dangerous. Many courier companies and drivers face regular accidents due to slippery, wet, or frozen roads. Local governments often close or block certain roads due to unsafety caused by bad weather, which causes significant delays in delivery services.

Water Transport

When moving products over water, weather conditions can severely impact items that are getting shipped. 3 Ways Bad Weather Can Affect Package Shipping & Delivery

For instance, temperature and humidity fluctuations might cause food to ripen faster than usual in containers without adequate climate control capabilities. Breakable items made of glass and other sensitive materials might fall and shatter when affected by intense weather movement. Items can also get destroyed by water if it gets inside a ship.

Delays at the port are often challenging for many companies, as they keep products from moving quickly to the following location and raise business costs. 3 Ways Bad Weather Can Affect Package Shipping & Delivery

How to Protect Packages

3 Ways Bad Weather Can Affect Package Shipping & Delivery

With so many weather accidents, it is crucial to be on the lookout for ways to protect shipped items. Luckily, many practical, precautionary methods help shipping companies prepare for these situations:

  • Shipping in corrugated boxes: Corrugated packaging is more rigid and less prone to rip during transit than cardboard because of its three-layer design, which also offers a higher level of water resistance.
  • Using reinforced water-activated tape (WAT): Wet tape is explicitly made to attach to corrugated cardboard. It will hold better than any other tape and function in extreme conditions.
  • Packing items in new shipping cartons: Used shipping cartons have likely suffered travel-related damage, making them more vulnerable to severe weather.
  • Taping interior and exterior seams: Covering the interior and exterior seams of boxes before they’re packed and sealed helps protect items inside.
  • Using watertight interior packaging: Although shipping containers aren’t entirely waterproof, the packaging inside of them often is. Items get extra layers of protection by wrap-up sealed plastic bags.
  • Using non-absorbent packing materials: The contents of a box are protected by air pillows and similar padding solutions. 
  • Padding to elevate items: Adding packaging material to the bottom of the shipping box can keep items secure from water damage.
  • Shipping packages early: Planning extensively and ahead of time is crucial to keep packages from getting delayed or lost in transit. 
  • Utilizing technological advancements: Logistics professionals use amazing tech,  such as software and electronic onboard recorders, in all vehicles to ensure the safety and traceability of cargo. In addition, numerous software solutions help drivers find safe delivery routes.

Plan Accordingly to Protect Your Cargo from Bad Weather

Now that you’re aware of how bad weather can affect packages and delivery, you can find ways to protect your cargo and ensure it reaches its destination safely.

Contact professional couriers and inform yourself of all the steps they take to ensure the safety of your cargo. Good luck!

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3 Ways Bad Weather Can Affect Package Shipping & Delivery

3 Ways Bad Weather Can Affect Package Shipping & Delivery

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