Peak season is a frenzied time in the logistics industry. Freight moves in huge quantities, capacity is stretched thin, and challenges abound. This fast-paced environment turns out to be a brutal showdown, but with the right preparation and foresight, it’s possible to emerge from peak season with success.
Believe it or not, the decisions you make as early as Q1 can have a significant impact on the success of your peak season come December. So, here are some tips to help you prepare for peak season 2023 and set yourself up for success:
- One of the keys to grace a successful peak season is to start planning for it as soon as the current one ends. Use this time to review your performance and identify successes and failures. Take note of any carriers who stood out for their exceptional service and ensure they are included in next year’s plan. Similarly, if any communication issues with providers or internally led to delays, make a note of them and address them. The earlier you can contact high-performing providers for the next peak season, the better. This will also give you ample time to update processes and improve operational efficiency.
- Customers typically care about on-time delivery during peak season, but there are other important KPIs to consider as well. For example, on-time pick-up may be critical if your facilities are operating at or near capacity, while order accuracy is a top priority for customers who need to ensure they have enough stock on hand. By incorporating the most important KPIs into your planning, you can ensure that your customers receive the level of service they need.
- To anticipate demand, it is important to have regular conversations with your customer base throughout the year. This will help you gauge their needs and give you an idea of what your capacity requirements might be during peak season. Be diligent in tracking this data and forecasting your demand, so you have a strong foundation for your season plan. Share this information with both your customers and carriers early on, so everyone is on the same page.
- As summer turns to fall, you should have a better idea of your demand projections. This is the time to start setting your peak season procurement in motion. Reach out to the carriers you identified as high performers during your post-mortem review and ask them if they can handle more freight. If you need to expand your network, work with a third-party logistics provider to source reliable carriers in the lanes you need covering. It is also important to have backup capacity lined up in case of unexpected issues.
Preparing for peak season is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. Every peak season is a learning opportunity, and the insights you gain from one can help improve the following. The TruKKer platform levels the playing field for you by using advanced data science maneuvers. It picks up signals from the market and crunches that data to preempt any surge or fallouts – this is fused with the data collected from carriers, shippers, and their usage patterns. While it self-learns from the troughs and peaks, it forecasts the trends and reserves the capacity to stand up to any spike in demand. So that whatever the situation, the wheels are always turning and your goods flowing.