The 2021 high season is poised to be one of the busiest in recent history. If your business is often unprepared for a spike in shipping, this high season couldn’t be easier.
The good thing is that now is the perfect time to start planning for the high season. You should have a good idea of your forecast, so having a strategy in place now can be the difference between allowing the demand environment in 2021 to get the best of your budget or staying ahead of the curve. As you plan your strategy, here are five main things to keep in mind:
1. Prediction quality
Forecasting quality is more critical than ever to your network’s pre-planning ability, but that’s only half the battle these days. Having an open and continuous channel of communication for supply chain stakeholders to review and change the forecast can help avoid last minute changes and costly spot market coverage.
2. Scheduling flexibility
Everyone is focused on getting a product off the shelf, but when you laser focus on a strict transit schedule, you may leave some savings on the table. There are cost-effective ways to continue to drive supply chain performance, including flexible pickup windows and delivery days, which can often open up the carrier’s network to a wider range of suppliers and create competition for your freight.
3. Alternate transportation methods
If the goal is to get your product off your shipping dock, paying a premium to the carrier to pick up shipping today when delivery time doesn’t matter isn’t going to help keep the budget in check. Be open to alternative modes of transportation as you can sacrifice speed in the marketplace for significant savings with consistent pickup performance. Modes such as Multimodal Integration or LTL Integration can help provide savings while keeping your network moving.
4. Avoid the spot market – or better yet, a single source
The tables often turn during high season, as shippers sometimes have to compete for capacity in the spot market just to move their goods. Working with a provider that has a fully offshore shipping product, such as Hub Group’s Complete Spot solution, can help you access greater purchasing power through bulk carrier spending with better coverage for all shipments.
5. Alignment with installed provider
Cooperation is always rewarded in the field of logistics. If you are already struggling to get ahead in today’s demand climate, working with a 3PL that can put your network on their shoulders is a wise decision. They can use proven processes, dedicated teams, expert leadership, and a 100% focus on customer success to safely lead your supply chain during peak season in 2021.
For more than 50 years, Hub Group has helped customers meet their needs during the peak retail season with a focus on service, integrity, and innovation. For more information, visit www.hubgroup.com or contact a Hub Group representative today.