Many aspects of everyday life come to a screeching halt during hurricane season. Businesses shut down, schools close, and the focal point for most becomes about how to stay safe. An imperative resource in all of this is freight. Without freight, essential — sometimes lifesaving — items like food, gasoline, and medical supplies, would not make their way to those affected most by hurricanes.
The U.S. Congressional Budget Office estimates that hurricanes alone can cost $28 billion a year in damage — and that’s in a normal year. Especially destructive hurricanes such as Maria and Irma alone caused at least $155 billion in damages in 2017. No matter how much preparation and protocols are put into place, weather-related critical events can have an unmatched impact on trucking and the entire supply chain.
Even though we’re entering a high-risk disaster season, that doesn’t mean that freight will slow down. Evolving technology has the power to help fleet managers keep drivers safe, mediate the damage, and ensure everything gets where it needs to go.
Here are just a few ways that technology and trucking work together to ensure maximum efficiency during hurricane season:
- Seamlessly sourcing near-real time updates. Extreme weather conditions are notoriously unpredictable. Recently, Florida spent days bracing for the impact of Hurricane Dorian only to have it adjust course towards the Carolinas. Drivers need to be able to access the latest projections so they can avoid dangerous areas. Through in-cab voice-assistants, drivers can easily source information as it develops without having to make a call or pull over to check their phone.
- Balancing safety needs with Hours of Service regulations. Current Hours of Service regulations puts strict guidelines around how long drivers can spend on the road and how much time they need to rest. However, what happens when a driver is nearing the end of a shift just as the weather begins to take a turn for the worse? Technology is improving route forecasting to take drivers into account, so drivers adjust accordingly and get themselves outside of the affected regions.
- Proactive rerouting. In the leadup to any major natural disaster, traffic conditions can become wildly unpredictable, creating delivery delays and unhappy customers. Advanced GPS systems offer drivers greater insight into the best routes to avoid constant congestion.
Visit our webpage on fleet safety to learn more about how you can keep your drivers safe this hurricane season.