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Storms in the USA: how does climate affect international logistics?

16 de março de 2021

The climate affects international logistics, the transport systems operation and can increase the risk of delays, interruptions, damage and failures in land, air and sea logistics. When the cold becomes extreme, for example, the transport infrastructure becomes less reliable and safe.

Daily operational decisions in the transportation sector, such as the volume of cargo that an airplane or ship can safely handle, therefore, must take into account climatic conditions.

clima afeta a logística internacional

Ricardo Keil, commercial analyst at Allog,, points out that, when the storm season starts in the United States, for example, the impact on transportation is global. Because it causes major congestion at US ports. It also impairs the flow of goods from both import and export cargo. Similarly, adverse impacts on transit time, reliability and delivery efficiency affect the cost of all goods transported by these systems.

How to circumvent the effects of storms in the United States?

As climate change affects international logistics, constant adjustments to the operation are necessary. Ricardo points out that the best alternative to minimize the negative impacts of storms on cargo handling is planning. “Both exporters and importers need to have it at the “tip of the pencil”. This way, they will be less affected when these climatic phenomena occur”, points out Keil.

In the United States, transportation systems are designed to withstand local weather and climate conditions. Industry engineers often refer to historical weather records, especially extreme weather events, when designing these
transport systems. Shipowners, in turn, plan to move containers from one region to another during these periods. This is just to supply the “back log” that can occur during the storm season.

>>> CHECK ALSO: Weight limits on American highways: 4 questions on the subject.

“Currently, however, international trade is facing a major shortage of containers worldwide. The most affected region is Europe, where there was a shortage due to increased demand from the Asia x North America and North America x Europe trade, where the largest routes of world trade are concentrated ”, details the Allog professional.

Delays: what to do when the weather affects international logistics?

Heavy rainfall can result in flooding, which disrupts traffic in different modes. Generally, when there are delays due to climatic factors, shipowners identify the incident as “force majeure”. And that exempts them from any penalty. In this case, the costs are usually transferred to the exporter or the importer.

As a specialist, the freight forwarder has a duty to seek the best solution for his client. When this occurs, it is essential to seek a negotiation with the shipowner or the port terminal in question, reducing final costs.

Since last year, the United States has been suffering, week after week, from the lack of trucks and space on its rail ramp. This ends up generating storage or detention costs for the consignee. When defining shipping dates to the United States, the period in which they will be carried out must be observed.

Peak season in the USA

Historically, the cargo volumes peak season of the Brazil x United States trade lasts from April to November. In this period, there are also congestion at terminals, lack of containers and lack of space on ships, which impacts on the increase in the international freight value. Therefore, the exporter must do a good market study before making any sales abroad. This helps to avoid losses due to a poorly planned export.

>>> DOWNLOAD our PEAK SEASON e-book here.

As Allog is a Freight Forwarder (FFW) specialized in the American market, it is able to conduct well-founded market analyzes with the information it receives from international partners on market situations, passing the results on to customers. “It is extremely important to have this transparency with the market. In this way, customers and partners
feel confident in letting Allog take care of their shipments ”, quotes Keil.

Do you want to know more about international logistics and trade relations with the United States?

clima afeta a logística internacional

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