Nine tips for drivers in the treacherous winter season
Poor road conditions have cost consumers and the insurance industry at least $27 billion over the last five years in the US, according to a survey commissioned by Trusted Choice and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.
The survey also reveals that half of car owners have experienced damage to their vehicles as a result of potholes. As millions of Americans take to the roads for the holidays, Trusted Choice urges drivers to be cautious now and throughout the winter.
Following on from that, Supply Chain Digital offers the following tips to motorists to help stay safe and avoid costly damage as they hit the roads this winter.
- Avoid the urge to swerve out of the way of a pothole at the last minute. You may swerve into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Risking damage to your car is wiser than risking the loss of your life or that of another person.
- Report potholes to your state or local transportation department. Motorists who think their state or local government will pay for damage to their cars may be out of luck.
• Fully 'winterise' your car by having a mechanic check the battery, antifreeze levels, thermostat, lights, heater, brakes, defroster, oil levels, hazard lights, headlights, wipers, tires, and the ignition and exhaust systems.
• Maintain at least a half tank of petrol during the winter season.
• If the car door locks are frozen, pour lukewarm water on the lock to melt the ice away enough to insert a key and unlock the door. Don’t try to chip the ice away with your key as this may damage the key and your car. Never pour hot water on windows, as they may crack.
• Allow your vehicle to run in an open space while in park for about five minutes. While the vehicle warms up, turn on the front and rear defrosters to clear windows if outside.
• In case you get stuck on the road, maintain a “winter car kit” stocked with flashlights and extra batteries, a first aid kit with a pocket knife, extra clothes, jumper cables, high energy snacks, small tools and bottled water.
- Watch out for deer on or near the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deer are one of the biggest causes of accidents. Crashes with deer happen most frequently in rural areas, on roads with 55 mph or higher speed limits, in darkness or at dusk or dawn.
• If you hit a deer, keep away and don’t touch it. If it's alive, it may be dangerous. Call the police.
The pothole survey was conducted for Trusted Choice and the Big “I” by MFour Mobile Research, Inc. using MFour’s Surveys on the Go® Smartphone Application Panel which includes Apple and Android mobile device users. MFour is an independent research company headquartered in Costa Mesa, California.
For more information, please visit: http://www.independentagent.com/News/PressReleases/Pages/2014/TC12182014_Potholes.aspx
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.