PEAK SEASON 2019: A FRANTIC RACE FOR THE FINISH LINE WITH A BARRAGE OF COMPLICATIONS. ARE YOU READY TO DO IT ALL AGAIN OR IS THERE A BETTER WAY?
Representing as much as 30% of annual sales for some retailers a successful Christmas trading period is essential to the survival of many Australian businesses. Planning ahead for Peak Season 2019 to get the most bang for your logistics buck will see you well placed to maximising your Christmas trading potential.
WERE YOU CHALLENGED IN THE LAST PEAK SEASON?
Compounding the standard issue Peak Season challenges – low capacity, high space demand and therefore, rates, the 2018 Peak Season rolled around earlier than usual. Many international experts noted that the increasing tensions between the US and China trade talks created a sense of urgency and so retailers started shipping product earlier than usual. Add to that some instability in the container lines and some traditional shipping routes being cut all lead to last year’s peak season causing more headaches than usual.
Symptoms of a challenging silly season…
When you don’t have an experienced partner by your side, one that understands the seasonal logistics landscape, then you will have to deal with more just the usual higher shipping costs;
- Delivery difficulties – miscommunication, missed deadlines, packing issues
- Stock snags – missed cut-offs, delayed, incorrect, over or under supply of goods
- Warehousing woes – extra fees for storage and staffing
If you experienced any of these give your Logistics Manager a pat on the back, they had a rough couple of months.
But in the end, the very real impact of these symptoms is less foot traffic into your stores and lost revenue at the most crucial time of the year. Your stores may have looked great, but if you had stock-outs on advertised products, the opportunity cost is clear. This is a very real blow on your best earning period – lost market share, lost reputation and your competitors take the advantage.
Roadblocks on the way
According to a recent Logistics Management survey, nearly 80% of the 220 supply chain and logistics professionals questioned said that peak season has an impact on their everyday operations.
The pressure of this time of year multiplies when there are knowledge gaps around the fundamental processes that drive the supply chain. Without the expertise of a logistics partner to guide you, you’re sure to experience any one or more Peak Season symptoms.
For example, your freight forwarding partner should have an intimate understanding of:
- The best practice for packing and shipping activities
- Employing different freight modes to reduce cost and improve delivery times
- Making better use of consolidations
- How real-time reporting and system integration can improve inventory management and lower costs
- Avoiding delays at the border
- The benefits of Australian Trusted Trader accreditation
Without sound freight forwarding and customs clearance knowledge, it is difficult to streamline your Peak Season planning and optimise your operations.
OFF-SHORE 3PL—SOLVING PEAK SEASON PAIN AT ORIGIN
Finding a trusted partner who understands peak season importing and your business intimately as well as deliver creative solutions to your retail problems is just the first step.
An offshore 3PL solution is an essential pillar of peak season planning. A logistics partner who can harness their international network to manage your stock at origin and process it to store level to ensure deliveries at destination run like clockwork is key to optimising operations for your peak retail period.
In our next post we will show how one well-known Australian homewares retailer conquered the challenges of peak season with packing advice and off-shore consolidation… and a little help from a specialist.