In an age when consumers expect more from their online shopping experience – free returns, free shipping, and even shareable unboxing moments – those who keep up logistically will attract more customers and keep them coming back. Peak season shipping can make or break your small business. You must be prepared with the right tools and strategies.
Here are a few things this guide will help you :
- Develop strategies to navigate disruptions
- Plan out your resources accordingly so that you ship your items quickly and efficiently. This will help you avoid sacrificing on customer service or product quality.
What is Peak Season?
Peak shipping season typically lasts from the month of October through the month of December. It usually coincides with a peak in both order and shipment volume due to the busy holiday shopping season that coincides with the buying and gifting season.
During the busy holiday season, the efficiency of a supply chain can become negatively impacted. To manage these effects, online retailers are rushing to provide quality goods to customers. This often puts shipping carriers into overdrive to keep up with this demand.
Why is it important to prepare ahead of peak season?
The peak season brings even higher levels of shipping, so shippers and other stakeholders need to prepare well in advance. Salesforce reported that 23% of retailers’ overall holiday sales occurred in the last two weeks of the year, and online sales jumped 16% in the first week of November 2021. In the peak shipping season, this growth indicates the successful execution of supply chain and logistics efforts.
In this ‘moving season’, how should shippers prepare? What should be prioritized? During this time of year, how can shippers ensure the smooth operation of the supply chain?
In addition to researching the regions they wish to ship to, shippers also have other options at their disposal. Here are some tips to help shippers prepare for the peak shipping season.
Establish you budget
A survey last year found 58% of merchants biggest challenge for their business was the cost of shipping, and we are just days ahead of the busiest shipping season of the year.
Last year’s data can show you where to optimize your shipping spend this year, based on your past expenses. In your 2022 planning process, it would be a good idea to review your 2021 shipping budget and expenses to determine whether you may need to reallocate spend and optimize costs. Based on last year’s numbers and results, you can decide where to adjust your operation and holiday shipping strategy.
Expect supply chain disruptions
According to a report from DC Velocity, “most freight forwarders, traders, and shippers expect more disruption in the 2022 third-quarter peak season than they felt last year. The survey also found that although many companies have arranged international shipments early this year, most continue to rely on the spot freight market to move goods.”
The report goes on to review ways the shipping industry is adapting and managing the supply chain disruptions. Forming long-term contracts, growing their networks, and integrating multi-carrier strategies just to name a few.
Develop a multi-carrier strategy
As high-volume global shipping grows in complexity and the physical strain on shippers and their parcels has risen, reliance on a single carrier has been an antiquated concept. Last year during peak season, we saw many unprepared shippers use the USPS as a fallback option to get their products out the door in time.
Rather than sticking with one or two carriers and risk having to face bottlenecks, shippers should diversify their carriers to make sure that capacity resources are not overexerted. Technology also provides helpful tools. The objective of parcel shipping software is to decrease transportation costs and increase the volume of parcels shipped at one time. All while streamlining the on-boarding, leverage, and optimization of shipping with different carriers.
With good warehouse management software, as well as parcel shipping software, a business can determine the maximum number of packages that a certain carrier can carry. Therefore, a business can avoid exceeding carrier capacity by packing and shipping smaller orders at a time. This can prevent loss of shipments.
Look for shipping deals
By planning early and moving quickly, you will have the opportunity to capitalize on any deals that arise. You can plan early even if the season is packed. LTL carriers, for instance, might offer price breaks to customers who are able to arrange their loads and delivery times with some flexibility.
Fortunately, GoShip has you covered when it comes to finding the best deals through our network of carriers. Our online quoting tool will show you the best rates for all your shipping needs in the simplest way possible. Visit our self-service platform today and enter your shipment details to get the best rates from carriers and help you navigate the upcoming 2022 peak season.