According to The Weather Company, an IBM Business unit, weather-related delays cost the freight industry approximately $8.7 billion a year. To help minimize those costs and the shipment inefficiencies that go with them, the firm is rolling out a new system dubbed Operations Dashboard for Ground Transportation – a solution designed to help “optimize workforce productivity” and route selection for freight and logistics companies.

According Mark Gildersleeve, vice president and head of business solutions for The Weather Company, this new dashboard includes information on weather and road condition information, such as precipitation, wind, fog, ice and pooling water.

The dashboard also integrates real-time traffic flow and incident data, and flags safety hazards, he added in a statement.

"By providing freight and logistics companies with a single view of critical weather and traffic information, we are providing them with the ability to make proactive decisions that can reduce inefficiencies and potentially keep their drivers out of harm's way," Gildersleeve explained.

"We understand that weather can be disruptive, but with the right insight companies can be prepared to make proactive decisions," he pointed out.

The company also noted that its new dashboard is designed to provide input across trucking and fleet organizations, large and small, thru a variety of avenues:

  • Dispatchers will have access to a dashboard of the network of vehicles and locations, with a view of relevant weather, traffic, and safety information on each route.
  • Distribution center executives will have access to a dashboard-level view of weather and traffic that impacts the safety of relevant personnel and facility operations.
  • Drivers will receive live, location-based alerts for current locations and upcoming locations based on current trajectory. Drivers will also have the ability to check weather and traffic while planning the day's travel and during breaks.

Additionally, dispatchers can set up individualized alerts of approaching hazards that are delivered via application program interfaces or APIs as well as in-cab or mobile devices. This “alerting capability” can track a driver's trajectory and send alerts based on approaching weather, the company said.