The Big Chill For Auto Shippers
A recent bitter cold snap, also known scientifically as the Polar Vortex, blew down from the North Pole and reached the lower 48 United States, causing great difficulty for auto transporters. It is all very unusual, as we are now witnessing the more extreme side of Global Climate Change. The Plains, Midwest, and New England have been hit hard by snowstorms and subzero temperatures. The impact has not ended there, as the Southern states are also being affected.
The "snowbirds", who want to send their cars south to warmer states like Arizona, Texas, Florida, and California, have faced many delays. As many carriers are forced to wait for one more storm, the number of cars that have yet to ship has caused congestion in the transportation system. Truck drivers and customers get frustrated. They are eager to get their trucks as they have already traveled to the destination. However, they only expect to stay there for 4 to 5 months. They are not getting the income from delivering these vehicles. You don't work - you don't get paid. It's that simple.
Why Do Carriers Avoid Freezing Temperatures & Blizzards?
Although it may seem obvious, many customers don't believe so. They still expect their cars picked up promptly and to be on their way. Frosty temperatures, particularly subzero, can cause oil to thicken and reduce truck engine performance. Everything doesn't work as smoothly as it should. Transmission, differential, steering, and transfer case all move slower through crankcases and the truck will lose power. If the brake pads crack or freeze, who wants to see what happens on slippery roads? For auto carriers who depend on hydraulics to move vehicles on and off the road, it can be a problem if hydraulics freeze.
Car shipping companies in snowstorms or freezing weather can have insurance issues. The chances of an accident are higher. Truck drivers are responsible for the safe transportation of 8-10 vehicles. The cumulative value of these vehicles is likely to exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. Transporting such freight on icy roads is dangerous. It is better to wait.
Most people understand the logistics of truck drivers operating in freezing or blizzard conditions. The severity, length, and breadth of the harsh winter have been quite unusual. The ice and snow will eventually melt and the hard-working men and women will return to the roads.