Pandemic-related headwinds led to a frenzied peak season in 2020, delivering sky-high rates, shipping delays and manufacturing shortages. Demand has continued to outpace supply throughout all of 2021, and shippers can expect to face many of the challenges as last year heading into this holiday season.
A recent survey conducted by FreightWaves and Redwood Logistics revealed that over 90% of surveyed shippers have dedicated more funds to transportation throughout 2021 than they did in 2020. The survey also found 86% of shippers feel peak season is now at least one month longer than it was before the coronavirus pandemic, leading to greater exposure to stressors like expensive shipping rates and delivery slowdowns.
Capacity has been strained all year due to a wide variety of factors, including high demand, an industry wide driver shortage and manufacturing delays on new trucks. Shifting consumer behaviors – like the sustained preference toward e-commerce – add to these existing challenges, resulting in a recipe for a hectic year of holiday shopping. In fact, peak parcel demand is expected to outpace capacity by 4.7 million daily shipments.
Survey results made it clear that most shippers are entering this intense peak season with an already-stressed supply chain. It is clear that shippers need to pinpoint proactive solutions to their peak season woes if they hope to safeguard their bottom lines and maintain positive relationships with their customers in the upcoming months.
Technology will likely be the differentiating factor between shippers that manage to thrive during the chaos of the next several months and those simply trying to survive. Shippers need to embrace technologies that allow them to take a proactive approach to managing their supply chains before they find themselves underwater. Tools that provide predictive — and even prescriptive — analytics are the simplest way for shippers to plan ahead and prepare for their peak seasons.
While these forward-looking analytics cannot change the state of the market itself, knowing what to expect can make the difference between turning a profit and landing in the red for many shippers. This is especially true when predictive analytics are coupled with prescriptive analytics, allowing shippers to visualize their next best steps ahead of time.
Despite their value, integrating new technologies and learning how to utilize cutting-edge data like predictive analytics proves overwhelming for many shippers. Having the right partner can help shippers conquer the learning curve and begin saving money. Partners like Redwood Logistics provide the tools shippers need to access necessary data while also providing guidance and training.
For shippers facing monumental parcel surcharges and restrictive daily caps this peak season, Redwood Parcel offers contract strategy and optimization designed to help shippers improve their bottom lines. Redwood’s all-in-one parcel shipping toolkit provides the logistics and technology solutions needed to turn your parcel shipping into a competitive advantage.