Freight Shipping and Adverse Weather FAQs

Navigate weather-related shipping situations.

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When weather strikes, shipping can be impacted in a variety of ways – most notably, shipments tend to experience unexpected delays as the weather creates disaster situations or otherwise slows down commerce.

Weather-related situations may include:

  • Snow storms
  • Microburst winds
  • Floods
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Earthquakes
  • Other types of natural disasters

Because the system is a connected network, shipments both inside and outside of immediate disaster areas can be impacted by weather. Depending on the situation, these will likely include:

  • Service interruptions for shipments to or from affected areas
    • Inability to perform pickups or deliveries in affected areas
    • Ports may be closed
    • Freight may have been hastily evacuated to other areas for safe-keeping
  • Delays for shipments passing through affected areas
    • Operational centers in affected areas may be unable to handle freight
    • Freight may be backlogged on the dock, unable to move
    • Equipment may be stranded, delaying the delivery of freight
  • Rising nationwide fuel prices caused by damaged or closed refineries, resulting in higher fuel surcharges

My shipment was lost or arrived damaged. Will I be reimbursed for that?

Damage resulting from a weather event likely will be considered resulting from an “act of God” and exempt from carrier liability. Claims for lost shipments may be paid depending on the situation. It’s always a good idea to insure your shipments to protect your business from predicted and unexpected weather events. Also refer to the section below, How Insurance Can Help.

How can I find out where my shipment is, and how can I get it?

For UPS shipments: You will still be able to track your shipment online, although you may find that your shipment has been temporarily diverted. You can also contact your Unishippers office for support in tracking your shipment.

For freight shipments: your Unishippers office may be able to track down the current location of your shipment, depending on the situation.

Will I be reimbursed for service failures on my guaranteed shipments?

Unfortunately, weather is considered “an act of God” and is therefore exempt from reimbursement for unmet shipping dates.

How Insurance Can Help

Carrier liability covers only loss or damage incurred from the negligence of the carrier. When shipments are lost or damaged as a result of “an act of God” (such as weather), a business will be out the value of the good – which can make a substantial impact on the bottom line. Insurance steps in to help cover the costs and keep your business financially whole when a shipment is lost or damaged due to weather.

Keep in mind, however, insurance only covers loss and damage and won’t reimburse for guaranteed delivery delays in the case of weather. Consult the additional resources below for more information.

For liability rules and exclusions on freight shipments, you’ll want to review your carrier’s current General Rules Tariff, which is typically available on their website. Your Unishippers office is also ready and available to assist.

Small Package
In addition to insuring your heavy freight shipment, be sure to declare the full value of your small parcel shipment to take advantage of shipment insurance rather than default carrier liability. For Small Pack loss or damage rules, refer to the Declared Value section of the UPS rates and service guide (Acts of God – PG. 170) or visit UPS here.

Partner with Unishippers to Help Navigate Inclement Weather Shipping Situations

When adverse weather events cause flooding, bring down power lines, create road closures, or impede visibility, Unishippers is here to help. As a top-rated third-party logistics company (3PL), we utilize our transportation management system (TMS) to keep you updated on your shipment status, find ways to optimize your shipment delivery, and utilize our carrier partnerships to minimize the impact of weather events on our valued customers.

Contact Unishippers’ shipping experts today to see how we can help your business weather any storm.

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