The 2019 shipping peak season broke all prior records. According to Commercial Appeal, UPS handled more than 840 million packages, and FedEx handled more than 540 million. While this holiday peak season broke annual sales’ records for retailers, 2020 is shaping up to offer something new. Instead of the hyper-focus on retail during the holiday peak shipping season, the ever-changing demands of customers and market forces in the larger global economy will force shipping peak season to go well beyond retail and impact the supply chains of many industries. As explained by Post & Parcel, FedEx is already predicting major changes for 2020:
Returns Continue to Surge in the Weeks After Shipping Peak Season
Shipping Peak Season Requires Collaboration to Yield Success in Changing Shipping Modes
Managing Supply Chain Disruptions within Peak Shipping Seasons
When looking at various trends related to peak seasons, the pharmaceutical industry often comes up in conversation, as that industry continues to evolve. The recent outbreak of coronavirus, as well as quarantines and the risk of port refusal for ocean ships, is impacting an increased likelihood for supply chain disruption. Without the right supplies, the pharmaceutical industry will suffer, and effects are starting to become evident in India, notes Reuters. Now, global shippers must consider the possible health impacts of coronavirus. In fact, the coronavirus is only the latest symptom of an industry that grew complacent with a never-ending supply from the APAC region and vice versa. Without backups in place, industries involved in global trade and manufacturing will face uncertainty with regard to sourcing raw materials, finding skilled workers that have a lower labor cost, and much more. No matter the supply chain disruption, or which industry disruption is occurring in, supply chain professionals need to build in contingency plans for unknown and unpredictable disruptions in order to meet customer expectations of on-time delivery during shipping peak seasons.
Customers Will Value Engagement Across All Industries
Exception Automation Will Optimize and Apply AI in All Shipping Peak Seasons
Exception automation will also become a bigger player in shipping peak seasons through 2020. With the coronavirus now a viable threat, shippers are faced with more exceptions, and while different, all exceptions have a degree of commonality. In other words, certain factors could be automated to leverage dynamic rule sets and automatically route freight to avoid disruptions.