Many paint products are vulnerable to damage during cold temperatures. Water-based paints and coatings will freeze if they sit too long on a dock or truck. As a result, paint suppliers need to have a plan in place to properly plan for shipments and store product in the winter time to keep it out of the cold.
According to Randy Swart, chief operating officer of A. Duie Pyle, an expert in transporting products in extreme conditions, the impact of improperly shipped water-based paints and coatings can be felt in a couple of ways. “Water-based paints, inks, dyes and coatings are susceptible to freezing and can experience a negative impact in quality and effectiveness,” he says. “Also, supply chain disruptions caused by lack of preparation in advance of bad weather can affect the availability of products. Many freight carriers do not offer heat protection. And of those who do, many refuse to take freezable freight when the temperature drops below a certain point.”
Swart advises that painters work with dealers and distributors who have strategic relationships with specialized freight companies that have the resources in place to provide uninterrupted service.
Why? “Dealers and distributors can often influence which freight company is used for inbound shipments,” Swart explains. To protect temperature-sensitive shipments, dealers can insist on working with a service provider that has a large fleet of heated and insulated trailers, heated service centers and no moratoriums due to low temperatures.
Swart also suggests that savvy dealers and distributors adjust their receiving practices in winter for water-based materials. “If they require a call ahead of delivery or an appointment they should consider eliminating these practices,” Swart says. “They can add to the time it takes for product to get from shipper to receiver, resulting in added risk and costs.”
It also is important to keep in mind that conditions can change rapidly, so paint dealers that don’t have these practices in place can be putting their product at risk. Although it may not be freezing on the day a shipment is scheduled, it still poses a risk to ship products that can be damaged by freezing temperatures in unheated trailers. “Your company’s reputation is at stake if your customer uses a product that is defective due to freezing during transit,” Swart says.