Hurricane season is just getting started on the Atlantic Coast and runs until the fall, while the Pacific hurricane season runs from May to November this year. Major storms can wreak havoc on your supply chain, which may result in delayed packages, disrupted shipping routes and damaged cargo. If you’re planning on shipping a wooden crate this hurricane season, we’ve got all the tips you need to protect your goods and ensure they arrive as quickly as possible.
The Effects of Hurricane Season
You need to take extra precautions during hurricane season to make sure your goods aren’t damaged during shipment. During Superstorm Sandy during 2012, more than 15,000 containers were lost and 16,000 new vehicles were flooded. As you prepare your packages and wooden crates for shipment, remember that hurricane season may result in:
- Delayed travel times
- Transportation, internet and cell phone service interruptions
- Port and road closures, altered shipping and distribution routes
- Lower shipping volumes
- Increased shipping rates and demand for spot shipments
Tips for Preparing Your Shipping Crates
- Use a Pallet
Make sure you use a pallet when shipping a wooden crate during hurricane season. You should always use a pallet when shipping a wooden crate to make sure carriers and port employees can use a forklift when moving your shipping containers. Attach the pallet to the crate to make sure they don’t get separated from each other. Shop for used pallets for sale if you’re looking to save money on your shipping costs.
- Prepare for Shipping Delays and Altered Routes
Your wooden crates may be at sea or on the road for longer than you originally expected during hurricane season. You or your carrier may have to find alternate routes when major storms are present. Anticipate longer shipping timelines, unexpected delays and altered shipping methods such as rail when shipping during hurricane season. When your packages are on the road or at sea for long periods of time, take extra precaution when wrapping your products and packing your crates.
- Pack the Crate Securely
Keep your goods safe during transport by packing your crates with care. Make sure your goods don’t have a lot of room to move around by finding the right-sized crate. Fill the crate so items don’t slide around or knock into each other and keep heavier items on the bottom. Wrap your goods in blankets, packing peanuts, plastic or some other kind of packing material to prevent damage.
- Use Rope for More Protection
You also need to make sure your crates are properly sealed. You don’t want your crates to accidentally pop open while they’re on the road or at sea. You might want to tie the crate shut with rope to make sure they stay shut. Expect additional turbulence on the road and long travel times during hurricane season, so securing your crates with rope is a cost-effective way to make sure your goods don’t get lost or damaged en route.
- Clearly Label Your Crates
With so many crates getting lost during hurricane season, label and relabel your crates with all your contact information in case anything out of the ordinary happens during shipment. Shipping forms and other documents may get wet, so make sure you use a waterproof marker or label to mark your crates. Stay in touch with crew members, suppliers and clients to keep them abreast of the situation.
- Prepare for Floods
You never know when one of your crates might flood while at sea or on land during hurricane season. If you’re transporting items sensitive to moisture, wrap your goods in plastic and waterproof materials to keep them safe.
- Consider Shipping Insurance
The chances of something happening to one of your crates only increases during hurricane season, so consider investing in an insurance policy that will reimburse your company if anything happens to your goods while they’re on the move.
- Prepare for Added Shipping Costs
Shipping rates tend to increase during hurricane season. If you’re shipping during the summer and fall months, factor these added costs into your budget so you’re not caught off guard when faced with higher fees.
Hurricane season can be a stressful time for many companies. Strong winds, heavy rains and floods can easily damage your goods while they’re moving from point A to point B. Use these tips to keep your shipping crates safe as they make their way through the supply chain.