Between school and holiday shopping, October through December is historically peak season for shipping. Businesses large and small should begin preparations now to anticipate the unique challenges of peak season.
The key is to start planning as early as possible.
Many successful shippers and winning brands are already well into peak planning, carrier diversification strategies and bottleneck mitigation, and are turning to qualified and successful partners to ship their products successfully through the busiest time of year.
“Peak planning is a year-round activity, it should never really stop,” said Kevin Collins, president of ACI Logistix. “Those prepared have an advantage and a higher chance at increasing repurchase and loyalty outside of peak season.”
ACI Logistix is an e-commerce and small-parcel logistics company that positions itself as a partner first to its customers. ACI uses deep industry and client collaboration to customize solutions throughout the delivery process.
The company’s mission is to provide an enhanced consumer experience for customers who are looking for balance between cost, speed, and reliability. During last year’s peak season, ACI saw record growth and performance. They also did not assess any peak surcharges, proving itself to be a trusted partner. This growth has continued into 2022.
“It required a lot of orchestration and engagement with our customers, teammates and partners,” said Jaris Briski, head of operations at ACI Logistix. “In concert we are building on our peak 2021 success to expand and replicate in peak 2022 and beyond.”
ACI’s impressive growth is due to its client value creation; that is, combining speed, predictability, and savings. While its unique work-share relationship with the U.S. Postal Service is a component, ACI should not be viewed as a consolidator, a label given to some other USPS partners.
“The term ‘consolidator’ implies holding parcels to reach a critical mass before distribution, which creates delays,” Collins said. “That’s not us, parcels move rapidly through our facilities, measured in minutes not days.”
Given the surging demand for its services and for ACI to replicate its peak 2021 success, the company is expanding its operations network by adding new facilities, relocating to larger hubs, and significant automation installations.
As peak season inches closer, many carriers will soon fill up, place volume caps on clients, and stop onboarding new clients, making it complicated for ill-prepared direct-to-customer and e-commerce shippers. This is part of a larger trend as during peak season shipping capacity needs will outpace available carrier capacity. In response ACI Logistix has significantly increased capacity for peak season 2022.
“We excel at client volume forecasting and resultant network engineering,” Collins said. “But it is crucial to prepare for the unexpected, such as weather, competitor missteps, and client volume surges.”
As part of this preparation ACI intentionally built its network with significant excess capacity in 2021 and in 2022, ACI has built its network even bigger in preparation for the next peak season. This allows businesses of all sizes the opportunity to partner with ACI.
“Emerging from peak 2021 we set records in terms of volume, throughput, and transit speed with plenty of capacity left over. That gave us a great foundation heading into 2022,” Briski said.
The company prides itself on staying in conversation with customers regarding their needs and expectations — fostering a culture of innovation and partnership.
ACI is also installing hub automation across its network to dramatically increase throughput, and seeking intense partner collaboration to continue to increase performance and help its partners improve efficiency.
“This last peak saw network volumes at record levels,” Briski said. “But even then our transit performance and key quality metrics exceeded those of Q3 and have carried into 2022.”
ACI urges companies to get on board by early summer.
“Peak season is like a game of logistics ‘musical chairs’,” Collins said. “Brands must be careful to avoid carriers with limited capacity or selling beyond their capabilities.”
You can learn more about how to partner with ACI Logistix to prepare for peak 2022 by going to its website.