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This post is the fourth in a series exploring the dynamics of the 2020 retail peak shipping season. To learn more, please read the other entries in this series:

For 2020,  the retail peak season will likely take an unusual shape, perhaps a flatter, longer curve than in the past. But overall, volumes will likely be comparable.  However, to ensure your peak shipping season logistics run smoothly in 2020, you will need to rethink old strategies.

Capacity will likely come at a premium like usual, but carriers will also be dealing with COVID-19 restrictions that could constrict capacity even more. Hurricane season and blizzards could wreak havoc at critical moments. The capacity situation could change very quickly in response.

The balance between physical retail and e-commerce will shift more this year as online sales are predicted to increase by 18%. To prepare for retail peak season, retailers must develop agile networks that can manage more frequent, smaller shipments to forward-deployed fulfillment centers.

As you prepare your 2020 peak shipping season logistics, consider these strategies for managing your supply chain.

Retail Peak Season Supply Chain Solutions For 2020 Success

Pop up fleets (dedicated capacity)

Pop-up fleets supplement capacity for shippers with private fleets. The fleets are contracted at pre-set rates, so shippers don’t have to compete in the volatile truckload spot market, such as the volatile market predicted for the 2020 retail peak season. GlobalTranz offers a pop-up fleet solution for high-volume shippers who want to plan ahead to maintain capacity and ensure goods make it onto store shelves.

Drop trailer programs

Drop Trailer programs can lower peak shipping season logistics costs and boost efficiencies, especially when capacity is tight. Carriers prefer to drop off full trailers and pick up empties and leave the yard as soon as possible. The driver can get back on the road faster to make the best use of the hours of service. Shippers have more control, including loading trailers to capacity. GlobalTranz recommends developing drop trailer operations wherever possible.

Shipping container storage

Retailers stocking up for the holiday season, as well as other surge events such as tax refund season, often run short of capacity. That’s a real challenge for bulky products such as furniture and appliances. These are also long-lead-time products, so retailers have to fill the pipeline early to ensure items are in the store when shoppers are ready to buy. GlobalTranz has developed temporary storage solutions for retailers to manage retail peak season inventory for improved store stock and lower total landed costs.

Final mile delivery

Today, every customer, whether it’s a consumer or another business, expects the highest service level in the final mile. It can make or break your customer relationships. Managing the complexities of peak shipping season logistics, products and service providers can quickly become overwhelming. GlobalTranz simplifies the final mile with turnkey solutions that use technology to manage carriers and billing that eliminates the headaches. These solutions have the ability to reduce accessorial fees and claims by using the right equipment in the right place at the right time. GlobalTranz automatically pairs the LTL linehaul carrier with a dedicated final mile carrier. White glove delivery for in-home or in-store delivery and assembly is available as well.

Reverse logistics

Peak shipping season logistics is a two-way street, especially with the boom in e-commerce. Larger goods are subject to costly returns, so shippers want to avoid the expense of returning a sofa or refrigerator. Ensuring damage-free shipping is one way to reduce reverse logistics expenses. But shippers must prepare for those returns. Managing reverse logistics in-house typically requires significant investments in warehouse space and other resources. GlobalTranz offers an integrated reverse logistics capability to make handling order returns easier.

While 2020 has been an unusual year to the least, these peak shipping season logistics solutions are valuable at any time. GlobalTranz will work with you to roll out these solutions where there’s a fit with your operations. You can face the 2020 Retail Peak Season with an agile, efficient supply chain that’s ready for whatever may come in the rest of the year.

Request a GlobalTranz Solutions Consult Today.

Guide to Peak Shipping Season Success