The holiday season is also the peak consumption season in the U.S. With the 12 Days of Christmas and eight nights and days of Hanukkah, food and consumer goods sales explode, making logistics especially challenging. Go into the holidays and the new year prepared to overcome the challenges of peak season shipping with a sound strategy and the tech to back it up.
What Would Holiday Logistics Be Without a Modern TMS?
Three out of four years agree that only 365 days a year exist. Yet the holidays only sneak up on us, especially if we have a business that peaks during the season.
More than likely, you have a holiday season game plan to prevent stockouts, delayed orders, shipping issues, and the myriad of other threats Santa reserves for those he thinks are on his naughty list. These setbacks come quickly. Are you ready?
You’ll see that you are ready only if you manage through the season with a Transportation Management System (TMS).
Peak Season Shipping Needs Focus & Santa’s Little Technology Helper
The massive influx of holiday orders dramatically increases complexity and constraints on logistics resources. The entire supply chain has to work harmoniously to pull it all together.
During peak season, retailers see 23% of their overall sales in the last two weeks of the year. Post-COVID-19, the year-over-year numbers are even higher. 2021 holiday sales grew by 13.5%, and 2022 sales are expected to show 6% growth.
As demand grows, supply lowers, resulting in tight logistics capacity and increased freight rates. It is a period of headaches and frustration for the logistics and retail industries. Fortunately, it is a known occurrence, and the logistics industry goes into the season prepared for the challenges.
Shipping prices increase as carriers hire well-paid seasonal employees to accommodate the high volume, and market dynamics switch the demand curve in their favor.
A TMS is a crucial tool for managing seasonal changes and challenges best. Increasing collaboration across the supply chain and facilitating a holistic view brings opportunities to move your freight quicker and at lower rates.
Challenges of Managing Holiday Peak Season Shipping
The challenges that come with peak season are numerous, including the following:
- Increased order volumes: Substantially more shopping results in dramatically increased order volumes. Retailers, e-commerce companies, and grocers are all replacing inventory at tremendously accelerated rates.
- Preventing stockouts/improving inventory management in relation to shipping: Stockouts can be a disaster. The sales are lost during a season when no one wants to wait for purchase or delivery. It takes planning, coordination, and adjusting reorder points to accommodate accelerated sales and win the season.
- Last-minute orders: Despite higher reorder points and planning, the dramatic shifts in holiday must-haves often result in hot products that move at a tremendously accelerated rate. Dealing with such situations adds the challenge of last-minute orders and the necessary coordination. Here is how Target is handling last-minute orders.
- Short deadlines: How do you meet short deadlines at a time when carriers are the most constrained? The best hope is finding exploitable holes in the logistics ecosystem.
- Increased demand: As should be expected, shipping demand takes off during the holidays, resulting in increased requests and workload for everyone.
- Limited capacity: Carriers could be very limited in their ability to meet demand dues to resource shortages. The results are delays and customer dissatisfaction.
- Delays: Not only are carriers limited by resource shortages, but high traffic and extreme weather can result in delays.
- High costs: High demand raises prices, especially during supply constraints. Freight companies also take extraordinary measures to move cargo as quickly as possible, including adding temporary employees who add to costs.
- Mismanagement of resources: It’s significantly harder during hectic periods, but managing resources effectively during the peak season ensures the proper allocation of people and resources.
- Security: Theft is an increased risk during the holidays. With the higher volume of shipments, the threats of fraud, theft, and other security issues increase to match. Security measures must be in place, adding to the complexity.
- Strikes: carriers like UPS are managing potential strikes and their impacts on customers and the overall supply chain
Benefits of a Transportation Management System for Peak Season Shipping
Peak season is not a time to be winging it, hoping to get lucky. With technology at your side, you minimize the extra workload and increase your opportunities. A TMS system isn’t a luxury but a necessity. A TMS’s benefits include:
- Increased efficiency: Finding missed opportunities with your TMS with enhanced visibility and better communication opens new chances to increase efficiency.
- Improved visibility: Turvo provides a single platform that lets shippers, carriers, and 3PLs track and manages their shipments in real-time. Up-to-date information on every stage of the supply chain helps shippers plan and adjust strategies.
- Cost savings: Look at the market in new ways with Turvo to find carriers needing a return load or other opportunities to save on shipments.
- Cross-collaboration: Use Turvo to collaborate with all shipping stakeholders, including shipment tracking, particularly container tracking and facility coordination for arrivals and departures.
- Automated processes and efficiency gains: Turvo streamlines and automates the entire process using predictive analytics and AI-based algorithms. Shippers save time and money by making the most efficient use of resources through automation.
- Enhanced security: Turvo’s features result in total data security with robust encryption and user authentication.
- Improved communication: Turvo’s real-time communication between all stakeholders allows them to share data and insights. Informed decisions and efficiency results.
- Greater collaboration: Turvo’s innovative platform facilitates collaboration among all stakeholders. Shared data and insights improve decision-making, reducing delays and getting your cargo where it needs to be on time.
Peak Season Requires a TMS
If you aren’t using a TMS during peak season, you’re missing opportunities, communication is constrained, and your workload is immense. Turvo saves time, facilitates communications for all stakeholders, and maximizes freight movement efficiency.
Complete visibility simplifies management challenges and opens opportunities. Turvo’s holistic management platform gets your freight where it needs to be during peak season, preventing the dreaded stockouts.
Book a demo today to learn more about what TRUE supply chain visibility can do for you.