How Freight Brokers Help Shippers Win During Peak Season
Shippers have a lot to plan for during the year, including the pricing and capacity volatility that comes with seasonal freight dynamics. Peak season has to be prepared for early, with adaptations throughout the year as the freight market fluctuates and points to the challenges that might come.
Even if a shipper doesn’t see their volumes increase in peak season, others do, impacting the dynamics of the entire market. Capacity can become very constrained, affecting the ability to get products to market resulting in cash flow challenges and possible stock outs.
Increases in spot trucking prices during the peak season will pull drivers without non-compete agreements into the spot market, possibly resulting in hauling challenges for freight providers and pushing shippers to the pricing volatility of spot hauling.
Just as the year has four seasons and companies have four economic quarters, shipping has four seasons that result in peaks and valleys. Not only are there seasonal differences to contend with, but yearly factors might accentuate the magnitude of upward and downward shifts during these periods.
January through March is the quiet period due to routinely lower volumes that come with colder months and reduced customer spending. This drop is seen in the traditional reduction in first quarter GDP from the prior year's fourth quarter. People slow down when it’s cold.
Produce volumes increase from April through July as foods are farmed and brought to the grocers. Capacity tightens at this time, and carriers become more selective with the increased need for their services.
Edge Logistics is especially busy during the produce season due to its innovative best practices designed to prevent spoilage, speed delivery, and safely transport foodstuffs.
The Edge difference in produce season includes:
- Tracking transport time: Helping shippers consider the requirements for specific produce and then ensure superior care with the ability to track transport time and temperature requirements, preventing produce loss and the added miles and cost of disposal.
- Speed delivery: With its Capacity app, the unique challenges of getting fruits and vegetables to their destinations as quickly as possible are overcome. Shippers find drivers quickly while properly assessing carrier risk when every moment counts.
- Use of pre-vetted carriers: Edge Logistics knows how to ship produce and has won numerous awards to back that claim. Cooperation with the Food Safety Modernization Act’s regulations is crucial, and sanitary transportation is one of the pillars of the act. Shippers have peace of mind that Edge drivers are pre-vetted and proper shipping is priority number one.
August through October is back-to-school and holiday shipment planning. Don’t forget that the massive amount consumers spend on Halloween items has a significant impact. Consumers spend far more after their summer vacations, and businesses ramp up initiatives that might include new hardware or office goods.
The freight supply chain requires advanced planning for peak season to meet the shipper’s needs.
Yes, there is high demand, and employees and drivers taking time off to be with families. It’s a one-two punch. Docks are far busier during this time, further constraining timelines.
Utilizing existing relationships and unique insights into the freight market, a broker has a tremendous ability to get carriers to prioritize a shipper's needs. This time is when utilizing the best freight broker is essential.
With a shortage of drivers, peak season is more challenging than ever. Here are ways a broker gets the product where it needs to go.
With connections and expertise in the industry, only considerable deviations need to be brought back to the shipper. The broker has everything handled, allowing shippers to tackle other significant issues.
Peak season shipping is all about finding the capacity to move goods. A broker with relationships across the industry can find the capacity a shipper needs now.
Being recognized as a shipper of choice has significant benefits in getting priority from carriers wanting long-term relationships. The broker can help make that happen.
Brokers not only leverage all available technology to get the job done, some, like Edge, develop their own to get it done more efficiently. It’s why the Capacity app wins awards.
Planning for August to October peak season freight is an activity that never stops. It is when capacity is limited, prices rise, and getting products to market is more crucial than at any other time.
Peak produce season requires the most efficient and safe transportation options, and excellent freight management is the only answer.
For every season, an experienced, technologically adept broker with industry connections takes the stress out of the equation. A broker like Edge Logistics saves shippers money and ensures products get to market. Contact us today to get started.
About the Author
Pamela is the Senior Marketing Manager at Edge Logistics. She has a Bachelors of Arts from DePaul University in Public Relations and Advertising with a minor in Photography. Pamela is responsible for overseeing advertising, marketing, press, and social media related to Edge.