5 Ways to Keep Your Supply Chain on Track in 2021's Unprecedented Peak Season
Peak season 2021 is gearing up to be one of the most active in recent history. If your business is often unprepared for shipping surges, this peak season won't be any easier.
The good thing is, right now is the optimal time to start planning for peak season. You should have a good idea for your forecast, so putting a strategy in motion now can be the difference between letting 2021's demand environment get the best of your budget or staying ahead of the curve. While you plan your strategy, here are five key things to keep in mind:
1. Quality of Forecasting
More than ever, quality of forecasting is critical to preplan capacity for your network, but that's just half the battle these days. Having an open, continuous channel of communication to your supply chain stakeholders to revise and change forecasting can help avoid last-minute changes and costly spot market coverage.
2. Scheduling Flexibility
Everybody is focused on getting product on the shelf, but when you're laser focused on a rigid transit schedule, you might be leaving some savings on the table. There are cost-effective ways to still drive supply chain performance, including flexible pickup windows and delivery days, which can oftentimes open up the carrier network to a broader array of providers and create competition for your freight.
3. Alternative Modes of Transportation
If the goal is to get your product off your shipping dock, paying a carrier a premium to pick up freight today when the delivery time doesn't matter won't help keep the budget in check. Be open to alternative modes of transportation where you can sacrifice speed to market for significant savings with steady pickup performance. Modes like intermodal or LTL consolidation can help find savings while keeping your network moving.
4. Avoid the Spot Market—Or Better Yet, Single Source It
The tables often turn during peak season, where shippers are sometimes forced to compete for available capacity on the spot market just to get their goods moving. Working with a provider that has a fully outsourced transactional freight product, like Hub Group's Complete Spot solution, can help you gain access to greater buying power through a bundled carrier spend with better coverage for all shipments.
5. Align with a Proven Provider
Collaboration is always rewarded in logistics. If you're 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 gracefully lead your supply chain through 2021's peak season.
For more than 50 years, Hub Group has helped customers meet their needs during retail peak season with a focus on service, integrity, and innovation. For more information, visit www.hubgroup.com or contact your Hub Group representative today.