How Weather Can Make or Break Your Car Shipment

Brantley Kendall

27 Sep 2023 10 months ago

Shipping your auto transport is less delicate than transporting a china set, but it does carry its own set of complexities. Mind you, weather is one such pivotal factor. When going through the process of car shipping, weather conditions can have a massive impact on your experience. The golden principle is that better weather usually means better shipping, while adverse weather can spell numerous difficulties. So, why is weather so crucial for your car shipment? 

The answer lies within the logistics of the process. Think about it: both loading and unloading become monumentally challenging during bad weather. Conversely, clear skies and no precipitation generally mean smoother operations. Winter weather, such as snow and ice, can halt transport altogether in certain areas, causing substantial delays.

 Even during transport, harsh weather can affect the vehicle’s exterior, leaving it vulnerable to damage. On the contrary, a sunny day might just be the perfect condition for your car shipment.

Are you feeling a bit confused and wondering how to navigate weather conditions effectively for safe car shipment? Don’t worry. In this blog, we will arm you with knowledge to make informed decisions for a seamless auto transport experience.

Weather Impact on Annual Transport: A Glimpse into the Figures

There’s much more to weather than just being a common topic for small talk. It’s a significant influencing factor in the transportation industry, affecting millions of passengers, drivers, and shipments annually.

  • The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicates that weather conditions are the critical factor in approximately 22% of vehicle crashes yearly on American roads.
  • According to the Federal Aviation Administration, adverse weather accounted for 76% of all flight delays between June 2017 and May 2022 in the USA.
  • Roughly 6% of maritime accidents are weather-related, as per the Coast Guard Journal.

These figures highlight the significant impact that weather can have on the transportation process. In addition to the safety concerns, weather-related delays and disruptions can also lead to significant economic costs. For example, a study by the American Trucking Associations found that weather-related delays cost the trucking industry an estimated $3.5 billion annually.

Impact of Meteorological Conditions on Traffic Flow

Weather impacts land transportation in many ways, including visibility reduction, pavement friction, lane obstruction, and even vehicle performance. Rain, snow, fog, and high winds are the most notorious weather conditions causing disruptions.

Weather can seriously interfere with how well traffic moves and signal timing plans work. Simply put, when roads are wet with rain, traffic at intersections can move about 10-25% slower. But when snow and slush are involved, that nosedive in speed can be even worse, from 30 to 40%.

Weather also has a part to play in overall traffic volume. Depending on the weather and what time of day it is, there can be 15-30% fewer vehicles on roads with traffic lights. Plus, the maximum rate that a queue of vehicles can clear an intersection (or saturation flow rate) decreases anywhere between 2 and 21%, depending on just how bad the weather is. And lastly, the more challenging the weather gets, the more travel and start-up delays you can expect. Your travel time can end up being 11 to 50% longer, and there can be a 5-50% bump in the time needed to get all those cars moving from a stationary position.

The Role of Weather in Auto Transport Planning

The role of weather in auto transport planning is of paramount importance due to its unpredictability and inevitable impact on transport schedules, safety measures, and operational efficiency. Harsh weather conditions such as snowstorms, hurricanes, and heavy rainfall immensely affect the route planning and execution of auto transport schedules. Accessibility issues, road blockages, risks to driver safety, and potential delays in vehicle delivery are some weather-induced disruptions that make weather forecasting a priority in logistics management.

Seasonal considerations

  • Spring: The Perfect Time for Auto Shipping

Have you ever thought about why many people ship their cars in spring? It’s because it’s a fantastic season for auto transport. The excellent weather and absence of extreme conditions make the whole process a breeze. Plus, lots of auto shipping companies offer some incredible deals during this time, making it tempting for folks who want to relocate their vehicles.

  • Summer: Weighing Convenience and Price

Now, summer’s lovely with its balmy weather. But remember, it’s a high season for auto shipping, too. This might make prices climb up a bit. However, don’t worry; the convenience of great weather appears to beat the extra bit of price. Pro tip: If you plan and book early, you could surely bag a sweet deal.

  • Fall: Enjoy the Mild Weather and Save on Auto Transport

Fall might just be your perfect balance between summer’s warmth and spring’s budget-friendliness. Known for its mellow weather and a dip in demand, fall presents an excellent opportunity for auto transportation. You might notice a significant dip in the price range during this time, making it a friendly option if you’re keeping an eye on your wallet.

  • Winters: Dealing with the Chill and Snow

Are you transporting a vehicle in winter? Brace yourself for unique obstacles. The severe cold, snow dumps, and ice patches could potentially disrupt both your vehicle’s safe handling and timely delivery. Although the rates might lean towards a competitive deal, you must prep your vehicle correctly and opt for a seasoned transport company with a knack for handling the tricky winter scenario.

Here is a table comparing season-wise challenges and how they can affect the overall car shipping cost:

SeasonChallengesEstimated cost in dollars of transporting your vehicle
SummerExtreme heat can cause the engine to overheat and tires to melt. Roads may be damaged due to the heat.$100 to $150 more than the average cost
WinterSnow and ice can make driving difficult and dangerous. Roads may be closed due to snow or ice.$150 to $200 more than the average cost
SpringHeavy rains can cause flooding and landslides. Roads may be damaged due to the rain.$50 to $100 more than the average cost
FallLeaves on the road can make driving slippery. Roads may be damaged due to the falling leaves.$50 to $100 more than the average cost
Please note that these are just estimates, and the actual cost of transporting your vehicle may vary depending on a number of factors, such as the distance being traveled, the type of vehicle being transported, and the company you choose to transport your vehicle with

Weather Conditions and Their Impacts on Auto Transport

Weather conditions are like the unseen directors of a play. They can dramatically alter the course of the transportation process, making it vital for car owners and transport companies to stay on their toes. Let’s take a closer look at specific weather conditions and their potential impacts on auto transportation:

1. Rain and Heavy Precipitation: Roads can become slippery in rainy weather, increasing the risk of accidents. Additionally, heavy rain may lead to flooding in some areas, rendering specific routes impassable. Carriers often take extra precautions during rainy seasons to ensure the safety of transported vehicles.

2. Snow and Ice: Snow and ice are common culprits during the winter months. These conditions can make roads treacherous, resulting in delayed shipments. Snow and ice accumulation on the vehicles themselves can also be problematic. Transport companies typically equip their trucks for winter conditions and may adjust routes to avoid particularly hazardous areas.

3. Extreme Heat: Extreme heat can have adverse effects on auto transport as well. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can lead to overheating and mechanical issues for the vehicles in transit. Transport companies may implement measures to protect cars from extreme heat, such as covering them during transport.

4. Fog and Reduced Visibility: Fog can severely reduce visibility on the roads, making it challenging for drivers to navigate safely. Transporting vehicles in dense fog can lead to slower travel times and increased caution. Car owners should understand that fog-related delays are sometimes inevitable for the safety of everyone involved.

5. Hurricane and Severe Storms: Hurricanes and severe storms can be catastrophic for auto transport. These weather events can disrupt transport routes, cause extensive delays, and even lead to vehicle damage due to high winds, flying debris, and flooding. Transport companies closely monitor weather forecasts and may reschedule shipments to avoid the path of a severe storm.

6. Hailstorms: Hailstorms pose a unique threat to vehicles in transit. Hail can cause extensive damage to the exterior of cars, including dents and broken windows. Carriers often take precautions to protect vehicles from hail, such as finding covered storage or rerouting shipments to avoid hail-prone areas.7. Tornadoes: Tornadoes are one of the most extreme weather events that can impact auto transport. These violent storms can toss vehicles around, leading to severe damage or complete loss. Transport companies prioritize safety and will typically avoid areas at risk of tornadoes during severe weather warnings.

Preparing for Weather Challenges When Transporting Your Vehicle

How auto transport works? and how to ensure a smooth ride, even when the weather decides to act up? The answer lies in choosing the right time, taking adequate safety precautions, and collaborating with a reliable transporter like SAKAEM Logistics, who is weather-ready.

Learn to Dance in the Rain: Choosing the Right Time

Timing is critical when it comes to transportation tasks. Calm and predictable seasons assist in avoiding unnecessary weather-related turmoil. But which are the best seasons for auto transport? Mild weather conditions during spring and autumn make them attractive choices. Winter can prove to be a harsh season, primarily in northern states, whereas summer, with its violent storms, could be potentially hazardous. So why take a rain check when you can choose better timing?

Better Safe than Sorry: Safety Precautions

Is there a foolproof way to ensure your vehicle’s safety during bad weather conditions? Yes, several safety precautions can be utilized. Ensuring proper lashing and covering of your car with durable weather-resistant covers can help. Additionally, it’s advisable to refrain from loading items into your car as it might lead to damage during rugged weather conditions. A stitch in time saves nine, indeed!

Collaborating with a Reliable Transporter

The importance of placing your trust in a transporter like SAKAEM Logistics, who is adept at weathering any storm, cannot be overstated. A reliable transporter with experience in dealing with all weather conditions is indeed a lifesaver. Wondering why? They not only provide appropriate vehicle covers and carriers but also track weather forecasts and plan accordingly to avoid potential obstacles. Isn’t it reassuring to have someone who doesn’t just promise but also delivers?

Some More Tips to Be Prepared 

  • Check your tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have enough tread to provide good traction in wet or snowy conditions. If you live in an area that sees a lot of snow, you may want to invest in a set of winter tires.  
  • Check your fluids. Before a severe weather event, check your vehicle’s oil level and top off all of your fluids, including coolant, washer fluid, and power steering fluid.  
  • Check your lights. Make sure all of your lights are in working order, including your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals. In some states, it’s even law to have your headlights on during severe weather conditions.  
  • Check your battery. If your battery is more than three years old, or if it’s showing signs of weakness, have it checked by a professional. A weak battery is more likely to fail in cold weather.  
  • Fill up your gas tank. Don’t let your gas tank get below half full. If you do get stranded, you may need to run your engine periodically to keep warm, and you’ll want to make sure you have enough gas to do so.
  • Proper equipment: Depending on the weather conditions, pack appropriate equipment. Rain guards, insulated covers, and snow chains are a few examples of what you may need.
  • Mechanical Check-ups: Regular maintenance and inspections of the vehicle can help spot potential issues beforehand. It could save you a lot of heartache.
  • Insurance coverage: Ensure your vehicle is covered. The owner enlists his vehicle with an insurance plan to secure it just in case of any mishap.

Pre-Transport Inspection: Document the vehicle’s current state before transportation. Any dent, scratch, or malfunction should be noted down.


As we’re closing in, remember the significant role weather plays in car shipping. It isn’t just about relocating vehicles but also understanding how different weather conditions can switch up the game and preparing to face them. SAKAEM Logistics doesn’t just keep an eye on the weather; and they formulate their plan based on it. Rain or sunshine, snow or hail, they’re all set for facing it head-on, making sure your ride reaches its destination safe and on time.

So, if you’ve got a car to move, remember to consider the weather. Think about selecting SAKAEM Logistics as your buddy in this mission. They aren’t just taking your vehicle from point A to point B; they’re giving you some peace of mind. Go for SAKAEM Logistics – you’ll be patting your back for it!

Most Common Questions People Also Ask

How Do Transporters Protect Cars from Bad Weather?

Auto transportation services implement comprehensive measures to protect vehicles from harsh weather conditions. They use enclosed transporters, heavy-duty tarps, and specially designed-vehicle covers to shield cars from rain, snow, and ice. Regular inspections and weather forecasts keep vehicles safe from potential damage.

Is It Safe to Transport a Car during Winter?

Yes, it’s safe to transport a car during winter. Auto transporters utilize enclosed shipping methods to provide extra protection against below-freezing temperatures, snow, and ice. Moreover, they use snow tires and chains for grip and follow strict safety regulations to ensure your car arrives in top-notch condition.

How Does Rain Affect Vehicle Shipping?

Rain per se doesn’t cause significant damage to vehicles during shipping. However, heavy rain and storms may pose challenges, such as causing delays or affecting road conditions. Transporters monitor weather forecasts and adapt shipping routes as needed to ensure utmost safety.

What precautions do transport companies take during extreme weather events?

During extreme weather events, companies err on the side of caution. They might temporarily halt services until conditions improve, or reroute transport to avoid high-risk areas. Vehicles in transit are covered with protective materials to guard against hail or falling debris.

Are there additional charges for shipping vehicles in adverse weather conditions?

Further costs may apply during adverse weather. Direct effects, like additional protective measures, and indirect consequences, like longer routes or delays, can increase auto transport costs.

Is it best to avoid shipping cars during specific seasons?

Automobile shipping is a year-round industry; however, spring and fall are often recommended due to mild weather and less demand, which may lead to lower prices.

How do I prepare my car for shipping during summer/winter?

Whether summer or winter, it’s essential to prepare your car for shipping. Remove personal belongings and loose parts, perform a thorough cleaning to notice any damages, and ensure your car is in excellent working condition. For winter specifically, consider using anti-freeze and checking your tires.

Can weather conditions affect the cost of auto transport?

Fluctuating weather affects vehicle transport fees. Storms, snowfall, or any extreme conditions that affect route length or demand special safety measures can push up the cost. Transport companies employ strict safety measures and updates in line with varying weather conditions to ensure your car arrives safe and sound, irrespective of the season. However, charges may vary, and it’s always best to inquire and stay informed.

Brantley Kendall