Peak season for shipping has traditionally fallen between August and October each year but 2021 is different. For many transportation and logistics providers, the past year and a half has felt like one big, never ending peak season. Not to mention the industry is experiencing the perfect storm of challenges: port and terminal congestion, labor shortages across the supply chain, and tight capacity.
With the holiday season quickly approaching, the pressure is on for retailers to fill their shelves despite today’s market challenges. So, what can shippers do?
While there is not one perfect answer, Trailer Bridge’s Vice President of Logistics Eric Masotti offers 3 tips shippers can use to help navigate the chaos:
1. Be Flexible.
Flexibility is key for navigating today’s landscape. Shippers should remain open to modifying their traditional supply chain models to find solutions to move their freight. Consider routing freight through new ports to avoid delays or alternative methods such as air transport, less-than-container-load or intermodal options, to improve efficiencies.
2. Seek Partnerships that Drive Smarter Solutions.
Collaborating with logistics partners can provide data-driven market insights to help craft creative solutions for your supply chain. Leverage partnerships to power your supply chain – leaning into the expertise of service providers allows you focus on growing your business while your partner handles the shipping.
Always communicate your needs and expectations to both to your internal team and with your logistics partners. A clear understanding of what is important for each shipment is key in finding the right transportation solution. It is also about being transparent when you hit a roadblock in your supply chain.
While we cannot anticipate how long this never-ending peak season will last or what challenges are on the horizon – what we do know is shippers are adapting. Large box retailers such as Costco, Home Depot, and Walmart have announced they are chartering their own vessels while shipping lines are rerouting vessels to new ports in an effort to stabilize their sailing schedules. Time will tell if these are temporary fixes for the current supply chain struggles or true innovation to propel the industry forward.
At Trailer Bridge we continue to evolve to meet the needs of today’s shippers – growing our team of logistics experts, adding new service offerings and developing a culture that is customer-centric to deliver exceptional service.
Let us ‘Make it Happen’ for your freight with a custom solution designed for your shipment needs. Email MakeItHappen@trailerbridge.com or call 1.844.TBSHIPS for a personalized rate quote.