Peak Season, Back to School, Economic Surge: Getting Ready for Lack of Shipping Capacity in All Modes

Despite the challenges of the past year or two, things are slowly beginning to return to normal as peak season surges approach transportation service providers and freight auditing managers. While back-to-school and holiday shopping spikes are not quite here, they are looming large and deserve careful planning and consideration by logistic managers and supply chain supervisors. Predictive planning and brilliant seasonal preparation are essential to offset the impacts of capacity issues and changes in demand and supply levels ahead of the coming economic surge.

Why a Lack of Shipping Capacity Is Happening

Taking steps now to prepare for a shortage in shipping capacity will help offset much of the chaos and disruption peak season fluctuations could cause within the supply chain network. According to BCG, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence tactics still represent a largely untapped wealth of innovative potential within the supply chain network and transportation industry. It is challenging for managers to balance onboarding new software and technology while ensuring current profit levels and productivity do not decline. This is complicated even more in light of the global disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this context, many logistics managers and network supervisors find themselves needing to do more with less. Therefore, it's even more critical for shipping managers and logistics directors to achieve greater marketing productivity with innovative shipping capacity procurement and management. It may take time, but a resurgence in the economy is expected. Unless shippers and carriers prepare now, shortages and capacity issues will plague the supply chain during these peak fluctuations.

Data-Driven Transportation Management Is Critical to Understanding Capacity Constraints and Opportunities

Another contributing factor to the capacity issues of today is the ongoing trucker shortage and the struggle to find enough drivers and trucks to keep the supply chain operating at peak capacity. Managers need to identify at-risk operations, leverage regional parcel carriers more, and work on predictive planning ahead of the peak season rush to prepare. According to Supply Chain Brain's recent report, "It's important to start talking about it now. As a result of COVID-19, we see a large disruption in the marketplace. A tremendous amount of carrier capacity has left the marketplace... Rates are increasing due to imbalances in inventory and a lack of capacity to meet those demands." Into this volatile and unusual market, shippers and carriers must adjust to the new normal and work within the growing trends of e-commerce and online shopping. It is critical that companies are using actionable insights gained from data analysis of shipping activity to know when volumes in various modes, particularly in parcel, reach capacity. Companies can see in the data when shipments were not picked up, lost, or if there are increases in surcharges and various rates. The awareness of this activity allows for more strategic planning, management and proactive prevention of potential exceptions or delays during times of increased shipping activity.

Added Ways to Get Ready for lack of Shipping Capacity During Peak Season

It remains a crucial factor to peak season management: shortages and a lack of shipping capacity will occur. Taking steps to get ahead and prepare beforehand can help soften that blow. A few things to consider ahead of this peak includes:

  • Unifying the data streams to aggregate information from within and outside of the organization.
  • Sharing data with transportation partners to better predict specific capacity needs.
  • Connecting with more contract carriers based on their past performance.
  • Using cleansed and normalized data to measure the performance of current contract carriers.
  • Diversifying strategy to fulfillment, taking advantage of urban fulfillment centers and brick-and-mortar stores as distribution centers.
  • Auditing all invoices automatically to recapture excess spending and hold transportation network partners accountable.
  • Tapping hub injection to reduce empty miles and lower total shipping cost, and improve delivery in the final mile.

Prepare for the Peak Season Shipping Rush by Choosing the Right Solutions Partner

While the economy is beginning to return to normal both locally and nationally, adaptation and innovation remain critical components to capacity management and supply chain organization. As peak season surges approach transportation service providers, it is essential that the right partnerships and business intelligence are high priorities. With back-to-school and holiday shopping spikes looming on the horizon, logistics managers and supply chain supervisors must stay alert and on guard.

Predictive planning and insightful preparation remain essential to compensate for seasonal capacity issues and the concurrent changes in demand and supply levels. Contact Intelligent Audit today to learn more about seasonal supply and demand shifts and how to prepare for seasonal changes and fluctuations.

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