Peak Season Shipping: 5 Ways to Manage the Extended Black Friday and Cyber Monday Peaks

Peak Season Shipping | 5 Ways To Manage The Extended Season

As the holiday season approaches, Santa’s usual busy route seems poised to be bigger and more demanding than ever. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also likely to have a banner year in 2020, thanks to a pandemic-isolated population that has grown remarkably comfortable with online ordering. The result of this popularity is an increased need for logistics-linked services, such as integrated parcel shipping solutions. Shippers and LSPs must stay ahead of the curve and balance shipment efficiency with speed for the 2020 holiday shipping season. And they can prevent backups and delays during this crucial sales period by implementing these five smart approaches to peak season shipping.

Connect All Supply Chain Shipments with IoT-Enabled Sensors

Simply put, you can’t make in-the-moment decisions if you don’t have in-the-moment data. The more visibility you have on where your shipment currently is, the better your accuracy in planning complementary tasks like unpacking pallets, stocking, and meeting replenishment date targets for consumer-facing back-in-stock website messages.

Leverage Analytics to Understand Market Dynamics and Pre-Empt Customer Demands

If trends, market dynamics, and commercials couldn’t influence consumers, advertisements wouldn’t exist. While the pre-holiday consumer might not even consider a specialized kitchen appliance or big-screen television in the early November “calm before the storm,” market dynamics will tell you otherwise. They do this with surprising accuracy exactly when an ad or a neighbor’s purchase will likely inspire their own. With that information handy, you’ll be better equipped to be the one providing that must-have item and leverage peak season shipping quickly.

Take Advantage of Digital Freight Matching to Rapidly Scale Carrier Sourcing

As recently explained by Joel Dreyfuss via CNBC, “the process of getting a package from factory to distributor to customer can be fiendishly complicated.” Until recently, this was mainly due to overly complicated “Load Boards” that even seasoned shippers and trucking professionals struggled to navigate. Digital freight matching has updated this somewhat-archaic practice, leaning on a smooth transition to apps that match shippers to clients (and vice-versa) for easy match-ups on total truckloads and LTL shipments. For rapid scaling, there are a few more seamless solutions that may help. For instance, digital freight matching is arguably the future of logistics and an incredibly helpful tool for peak season shipping.

Be Transparent About Realistic Shipping Expectations

Sometimes the real numbers are not ideal, but the answer to that issue is never false confidence. A client or customer should receive their shipment on the promised date and not suddenly discover that a too-good-to-be-true timeline was, in fact, too good to be true. While fast, efficient service is an essential component of any service industry and logistics, so is honesty and transparency. Logisticians should build in at least a token amount of “buffer time” to your shipping time projections as well – this will prevent drastic time crunches if there’s a delay in the supply chain or unexpected traffic along a busy trucking route.

Deploy Global Resources to Increase Replenishment and Avoid Out-of-Stock Merchandise

There is a tendency to hyper-focus on domestic sourcing and shipment management, as these tend to be the areas with the most available control for shipment coordinators. The reality is, however, that the worldwide supply is arguably the most flexible one. Rather than trying to untangle a knot in the familiar, established flow of goods around peak season shipping, investigate the possibility of alternate origin sources, which may be a faster, easier go-to if you’re experiencing shipping issues.

Tackle the Challenges of an Extended Peak Season Shipping Demand With the Right TMS

In addition to these points of advice, effectively navigating the challenges of an extended peak season shipping demand requires the right transportation management system (TMS) in your corner. Don’t wait to find the weak links in your shipping chain the hard way.

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