Case Study

MicroWeather. Micro Decisions. Macro Impact

Help your freight teams make the right decision in any type of weather: Integrate weather information into your platform — all in one place
42°21'02.1" N 71°03'27.6" W

About

Inspired by commodities markets data providers like Bloomberg, Reuters, and Morningstar – FreightWaves created the #1 independent source of actionable data, analytics and commentary to help freight market participants in North America to navigate the impact of economic, technology, and regulatory changes on their business.

FreightWaves runs the largest community in the freight markets: Apart from their news and commentary site and their trucking futures contracts, FreightWaves offers the SaaS platform SONAR – a market dashboard that is built to help participants gain near and real-time perspectives on changes in market conditions.

Challenge

Weather plays a major role in daily freight movements from winter snow and ice storms to extreme temperatures, wind gusts, heavy precipitation, and tropical events like hurricanes.

FreighWaves was looking for a partner to include weather in their SaaS SONAR platform so that SONAR users have all relevant information in one place and can make better tactical decisions.

Solution

SONAR users can see the ClimaCell weather layers on top of the active SONAR map and evaluate how exactly weather is impacting each market. Usage has increased 5 times in the first 5 weeks after adding the weather layer.

Traditional weather companies repackage the same government data sources and models. ClimaCell sees the world differently – and makes accurate, actionable, minute-by-minute, street-by-street forecasting a reality:

  • Proprietary sources of data like wireless networks – combined with conventional sources
  • High-performance, flexible, on-demand weather models
  • Software platforms that allow companies to consume weather data embedded in their relevant business-context

The result is a MicroWeather API with the most comprehensive, up-close view of the weather available to include in FreightWaves’ SONAR:

  • Precipitation intensity and type
  • Visual layers of wind (speed/direction/gust); Temperature; Dewpoint
  • Real-time alerts (e.g., visibility)

Benefits

Safety: SONAR customers can let their truckers know about road risk leveraging ClimaCell’s minute-by-minute, street-by-street data and immediate alerts.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), more than 1.2 million vehicle crashes involving hazardous weather occur each year.
  • Making sure truckers are not caught off-guard. Heavy snow, dense fog, or blinding rain can reduce visibility from good to just a few feet in a matter of seconds.
  • Taking countermeasures if there is a risk of strong wind gusts on high overpasses, as they can cause trucks to tip – especially when deadheading.

Route planning: SONAR customers can inform their route-planning using ClimaCell’s long-term forecasting and make proactive, real-time adaptations taking into consideration current weather conditions.

  • Advanced notice if truckers should take a different route to avoid delays caused by weather-related poor road conditions or low visibility
  • Prevent being stranded, e.g. snowed-in or isolated by mudslides, fallen trees, etc.

Operational efficiency: SONAR customers can use weather to optimize their operations.

  • Saving costs not using a refrigeration truck in cold temperatures, but a regular dry truck.
  • Preventing food spoilage by taking outside temperature into consideration when choosing trucks with specific refrigeration capacity and insulation – both in extremely hot and cold weather.
  • Add the right amount of winter additive to avoid gelling in the fuel and clogging up fuel filters and lines.
"I’m a meteorologist, and writing weather content for the website and daily emails is one of my tasks. I outline how weather events affect truckers in certain regions of the country. For this, I use ClimaCell’s HyperCast forecast and real-time data. The daily email always includes an image of the SONAR map with the ClimaCell weather layer. We got a lot of positive responses from SONAR subscribers. Seeing the ClimaCell layers on top of the SONAR map in the daily email is really powerful and serves as a teaser - many started using it interactively on their side when they are in SONAR."
Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist, FreightWaves