GREEN BAY (NBC26) — Although Northeast Wisconsin isn't experiencing the same weather related troubles as many other states, severe conditions down south are creating problems for local trucking companies.
Poor road conditions, power outages and rolling blackouts in states like Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas are causing delivery backlogs for Schneider National, a large trucking company based in Green Bay.
"Normal flow hasn't really been normal, so we are working through that build up that's taken place," said John Bozec, senior vice president and general manager of Van Truckload at Schneider.
Schneider delivers anything from food to paper products. Bozec said many of the company's customers are affected by the winter storm, whether it's because of power outages or unplowed roads keeping employees at home.
Bozec said Schneider has spent hours working on a recovery plan to ensure goods can safely get from Point A to Point B in these "unprecedented conditions." Staff goes driver by driver, truck load by truck load, checking in with associates, customers and drivers multiple times a day to see what conditions they're faced with and what products can be delivered safely.
Bozec said part of that check-in process ensures drivers have the necessary resources and are in a position to continue working.
Another part of the plan works directly with customers to understand what goods and services are most important.
“Perhaps there’s a store that hasn’t gotten a delivery for several days and others that may have just gotten a delivery yesterday." Bozec said. "So making sure that that priority is set correctly, and getting those product to that store that’s perhaps not had a delivery for a period of time, so that the customers in that market, those citizens, can ultimately go into that store and get what they need in order to keep their lives moving forward.”
Bozec said it's also possible the events in southern states could temporarily disrupt parts of the nation's supply chain.
“There are goods that are produced here in Northeast Wisconsin that are destined for Oklahoma, and Texas, and Arkansas, and those might be a little bit slower getting there. Likewise, there are goods produced in those parts of the country that we are going to use here in Northeast Wisconsin, and those can’t get up here," Bozec said. "We really are affected by conditions down there. It’s not just the work that we are doing.”
Bozec said safety of staff and customers is the company's number one priority. He said Schneider will continue working through the plan until all freight is delivered and needed products make it on the shelves.