The start of fall always makes us think of the PSL, and in this case, unlike most people out there, we’re not talking about a certain creamy coffee beverage. We’re talking about the peak season of logistics, which comes to us each year in conjunction with colorful leaves and sweatshirt weather.
As fall approaches, we’re hit with the realization that Thanksgiving and Christmas are not all that far away. In just over three months, Americans everywhere will expect to be near-comatose on the living room couch with their “fat pants” on (is there a greater holiday out there?). But that can only happen if turkeys are in stock in every grocery store in the country weeks ahead of time.
Which brings us back to the peak season of logistics. With the holidays so close, demand always increases. And so available capacity shrinks. How can you be ready when that happens?
Stay up-to-date with the news. Seriously, this isn’t just so you can argue with the family in a heated Thanksgiving Day debate. If you watch current events for trends, you’ll be able to anticipate some of the fluxes in the market before they occur, which means your supply chain will be ready in advance. This is particularly important this year, since staying aware of the news can help you deal with the already tight market and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. This is bound to be a peak shipping season like no one has ever seen before, so it’s even more important to be as prepared as possible.
Use the summer to get ready. In anticipation of the freight volume increasing in the fall, you can always get ready in advance by fostering relationships with good carriers early on. Having carriers you know are dependable will help you find capacity when it becomes more difficult. This also means helping them out with rates sometimes—even if you don’t get a huge profit on a certain load, you’ll secure their trust and you’ll ensure that your customers get their products on time, maintaining customer trust, too.
Hire seasonal employees. Santa’s got his elves, why shouldn’t you call in for backup during the holiday season? Making sure you have enough people on staff will help ensure every step in the supply chain process goes smoothly.
Work with a 3PL. Because of the ability to access capacity without geographic restrictions, 3PLs offer nearly unlimited capacity. And if you work with an asset-based 3PL like RTS, you have an even better chance of guaranteeing capacity for all your loads. Let RTS deal with the changes in season if you don’t want to!
Peak shipping season can be a stressful time, but if you do what you can to be ready for it, it can be a positive time, too. It’s in peak season that we’re especially reminded how impactful our industry is, providing goods that help create holiday memories, and this year, fueling the economy in a challenging time for all of us. Let’s raise the other type of PSL to a great PSL!