Regardless of the fluctuations in the freight market, there is a relatively stable pattern when it comes to freight shipping seasons. In freight shipping, the year is divided into four parts and is mainly determined by the demand and the business of freight carriers and shippers. Understanding freight seasons can help you accurately predict demand and prepare for the challenges of every season. Here we will talk about the peak season of shipping and how to prepare your logistics operations for it.
What are the four seasons of freight shipping?
- The Quiet Shipping Season (January – March)
- The Produce Shipping Season (April – July)
- The Peak Shipping Season (August – October)
- The Holiday Shipping Season (November – December)
What is peak season shipping?
The peak season of shipping starts at the end of the summer. The reason why this time is considered a peak shipping season is that there is a combination of demand from different markets. Businesses start stocking up for the upcoming holiday season, there is back-to-school shopping time, and general retailers try to sell out their inventories from the summer season. During this peak time, freight rates are at the highest and the capacity is tight.
How do I prepare for peak shipping season?
1. Use information to plan
Although it is hard to predict customer behavior and demand right now, analyzing your previous sales and operation strategy may help define mistakes and adapt your strategy to prevent those issues in the coming season. Check your inventory, make sure all the facilities are set up for the increased sales season, and of course ensure safety for your employees and customers.
2. Expand relationships with suppliers & carriers
Recent events in the global economy have shown companies that they need to be more flexible and resilient. Keep this in mind while entering the new season, and make sure you have good communication with your partners: carriers, suppliers, and shipping services. It is a great time to find more reliable partners to work with and to be safe in any case.
3. Get access to competitive rates
Now is the best time to start shopping around for competitive freight rates, expanding your freight carrier network, and securing truck capacity. The closer it gets to the peak season, the more expensive freight rates will get, and the capacity will start to shrink. With early planning actions, your company can get the best service for a reasonable price, and be sure that your shipments will be delivered on time.