Why the Peak Shipping Season Is Important And How to Prepare
Peak season can greatly impact international shipping. Here are tips for handling busy times in supply chain
As we approach the holiday season, businesses gear up for one of the busiest times of the year – peak shipping season.
With increased demand for deliveries, it’s essential to understand when this period occurs, its importance, causes, and common challenges.
In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about high shipping season and how preparation can help ensure a smooth shipping experience.
Table of Contents
When Is the Peak Shipping Season?
The peak shipping season varies depending on the industry and location, but generally speaking, it refers to the period of time when there is a surge in demand for shipping and delivery services due to various factors such as holidays, festivals, and changes in weather patterns. Here are some general guidelines on when the busy seasons occur for different industries:
The peak shipping season for e-commerce usually begins in late September and lasts through mid-January, with the highest volume of shipments occurring during the holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
For brick-and-mortar retail stores, the peak shipping season often coincides with the holiday season, starting from Black Friday and continuing through Christmas and New Year’s.
Food and Beverage
The high season for food and beverage manufacturers and distributors tends to coincide with holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, as well as summer months when people tend to consume more perishable goods.
The peak shipping season for pharmaceutical companies often occurs during flu season, which typically runs from October to February.
The peak shipping season for automotive parts and accessories suppliers tends to occur during the summer months when people are more likely to travel and go on road trips.
Chemicals and Hazardous Materials
The peak shipping season for chemical and hazardous materials producers and distributors can vary depending on the specific products and applications, but generally speaking, it tends to occur during the spring and fall when demand for certain products is higher.
Why Is Peak Season Important?
Peak shipping season is crucial for retailers, as it accounts for a significant portion of their annual sales. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales in November and December alone accounted for over $720 billion in 2020. With such high stakes, it’s vital to have a well-functioning logistics system to ensure timely and accurate deliveries.
What Causes Shipping Peak Season?
There are several factors that contribute to the peak shipping season, which is characterized by an increase in demand for shipping and delivery services. Some of the main causes of the peak shipping season include:
Holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve are major drivers of the peak shipping season. Consumers tend to purchase more items during these periods, leading to an increase in demand for shipping and delivery services.
The growth of DTC e-commerce has significantly contributed to the peak shipping season. More consumers are now shopping online, which means more packages need to be delivered to homes and businesses.
Inclement weather, such as snowstorms and hurricanes, can cause delays in shipping and delivery, leading to an increase in demand for expedited shipping options.
The back-to-school season, which takes place in July and August, is another factor that contributes to the peak shipping season. Parents and students tend to purchase school supplies and other items online, leading to an increase in demand for shipping and delivery services.
Summer vacations, particularly those taken in June, July, and August, can also contribute to the peak shipping season. Travelers often purchase items online before embarking on their trips, leading to an increase in demand for shipping and delivery services.
Festival and Event Season
Festivals and events, such as weddings, graduations, and conferences, take place throughout the year and can contribute to the busiest time. These events often require the shipment of gifts, decorations, and other items, leading to an increase in demand for shipping and delivery services.
Common Peak Shipping Season Challenges
Businesses face several challenges during peak shipping season, including:
Increased Demand: Higher volumes of packages lead to pressure on warehouses, distribution centers, and transportation networks.
Capacity Constraints: Limited carrier capacity and labor shortages can result in delayed or missed deliveries.
Rising Costs: Expedited shipping options and increased fuel prices can drive up costs for businesses.
Package Tracking and Delivery: Accurate tracking and timely delivery become even more critical during rush season.
Preparing for Peak Holiday Shipping Season With A 3PL
To tackle these challenges, consider partnering with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider like DIDADI Logistics. Here are some ways we can help:
Capacity Planning: A 3PL can provide additional resources, such as warehouse space and transportation assets, to handle increased demand.
Expertise: Experienced 3PL providers offer expert knowledge in managing busy seasons, ensuring efficient operations and minimizing disruptions.
Technology Integration: Leveraging advanced technology solutions, such as real-time tracking and analytics, WMS, helps streamline processes and improve accuracy.
Flexibility: A 3PL can adapt to changing conditions and adjust strategies accordingly, providing peace of mind for businesses.
The rush period presents both opportunities and challenges for businesses. By understanding the key factors contributing to this busy time of year and preparing appropriately, companies can ensure timely and accurate deliveries, maintain customer satisfaction, and ultimately boost their bottom line.
Partnering with a reputable 3PL provider like DIDADI Logistics can be instrumental in helping businesses navigate the complexities of peak shipping season.