Austin is famous for a variety of reasons. There’s Austin’s breakfast taco scene. There’s that whole, live music capital thing. Of course we can’t forget the Longhorns. All these things are great and part of what makes Austin such a unique place to call home. But you know what’s not great? The Austin traffic. Say it with me now – IT. IS. TERRIBLE. It is national news terrible. It very well may be the worst traffic in the world. Well, maybe not the worst traffic in the world. But Austin traffic is ridiculous, regardless. FreightPros (along with every resident of Austin) has an opinion or thought on what to do about this Austin traffic problem, and as we’re located right off Loop 1/Mopac (one of the two major thoroughfares running north and south through Austin), the situation really hits home with us. “Traffic got so bad I had to move to Houston,” says our Customer Support Manager, Meagan Norris (She’s kidding, she moved to Houston to get married). “But seriously, as a native Austinite it’s crazy to see how bad the traffic has gotten in such a short time.” Possibly the worst part about Austin traffic is that there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. As Austin continues to grow, the traffic problem no doubt will continue to grow with it. So what’s a Texas capital to do? “I think you have to improve the public transportation system,” says Operations Intern Patrick Wade. “The bus routes are okay,” says Wade, “but if they had some sort of rail system, that would be even more legit.” Improving public transport to encourage people to leave their cars in their garages and take a ride on the rail seems like a good idea to me, but perhaps it’s not radical enough to handle the Austin traffic issue. For example, let’s talk about Austin putting Interstate 35 underground. Or how about gondolas? Anyone? Gondolas? Regardless of what the Austin brass decides to do about the traffic issue in this fine city, I think we can all agree that traffic will continue to exist in some form until the end of mankind. So how does all this Austin traffic talk affect the freight shipping industry? Well, in pretty much every way imaginable. With both LTL and TL shipping, you’re dealing with drivers and trucks that are at the mercy of both the weather and the traffic. Just like the rest of us, they’re stuck in that bumper to bumper, 5pm traffic. Here are some tips to avoid the Austin traffic blues…
More Time Is Always Better – Dispatchers schedule their drivers routes based on the information available at the time. This means that these routes are constantly be re-evaluated throughout the day, with earlier pickups taking precedence over later pickups. Bottom line, even though carriers require a minimum two hour heads up, it’s always best to give them the most time possible. That way, they won’t be fighting through late afternoon traffic to get your pickup before you close.
Have Your Freight Ready To Go – Obviously, if you’re just getting an LTL shipping quote you don’t have to worry about your shipment’s packaging. But setting up the shipment? Make sure your freight is ready and easily available for the driver to pickup. Not only is this sort of delay easily avoidable, but if a carrier recognizes your location consistently doesn’t have their freight ready, the dispatchers will often push that pickup until the end of the day and you know what that means? Traffic and missed pickups.
Patience Is A Virtue – In the shipping industry it’s important to manage your expectations and have patience. If your location is downtown or in a highly congested area, chances are the driver is going to run into traffic. Know that the drivers do everything in their power to make all scheduled pickups by their designated close times, but sometimes delays happen. If you’re using a great freight broker, they can help update you on these delays as they come, but flexibility is always an important part of the process.
Logan is a Content Marketing Associate at FreightPros in charge of social media and content creation. He has a writing degree from the University of Oklahoma, but lives life on the edge and resides in Longhorn country. He loves Murakami books, Tarantino movies, and Vonnegut books. Lots of books. One day he will own a dog, but first he'll have to get a yard.
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