Black Friday is right around the corner. And, while the early shopping rush may typically be fueled by bargain hunting, this year’s early shopping is being spurred on by fears over product shortages and delays.
COVID-19 has been an underlying disruptive force on the supply chain for nearly two years. However, these conditions are only going to be exacerbated as we move into the notoriously hectic holiday period. With that in mind, here are a few factors that shippers and logistics professionals need to keep in mind as they look to meet year-end fulfillment and delivery needs.
New Delivery Options Add Stress
Retailers have done a great job of expanding delivery options to end customers to help eliminate supply chain stress. For example, “buy online, pick-up in-store” eliminates shipping to the customer’s home. That said, retailers still need to find ways to get goods to the store for pickup. Managing full truckloads will require shippers to double down on their forecasting and pre-planning efforts to make sure they can adequately meet the product demand for their customers this holiday season.
Increased Demand Equals Increased Freight Procurement Cost
Shippers are set to incur possibly some of the highest costs ever thanks to the confluence of the COVID pandemic and the upcoming holiday period. This is why shippers need to pay close attention to their freight procurement costs and look for ways to enable more cost-friendly freight procurement. This means moving beyond broker middlemen and leveraging technology to automate freight procurement, and obtaining actionable freight data to qualify new carriers and evaluate existing ones to optimize the all-important carrier network.
Dynamically Accessing Reliable Carriers
Ensuring on-time delivery (OTD) of goods should be a priority all year round, but OTD is particularly important during the holiday season. Hitting OTD targets is not only good business from a financial standpoint, but it is also integral to maintaining customer loyalty and trust. To help overcome the capacity crunch, many shippers are using nextgen FreightTech 2.0 to dynamically access compliant, asset-based, reliable carriers this holiday season so shipments arrive on time and undamaged. If OTD suffers, shippers will find themselves with a bevy of unhappy customers as we enter 2022.