How to Prepare Your Business for Peak Shipping Season


As difficult as it is to predict trends in consumers, there is a stable pattern of yearly demand to be recognized and prepared for. As the summer comes to an end, many business owners are preparing themselves for peak shipping season.

Peak shipping season occurs from mid-August until October. During this time, retailers experience increased demand as they prepare for the back-to-school season and the holidays. They will also begin to switch out their summer inventory and prepare for the change in seasons.

During this time, freight rates rise and their capacity plummets. This can cause significant delays for retailers and those responsible for supply chains. 

In the wake of the pandemic, we can expect to see this trend to be even more severe than typical years. The lack of ships, containers, and workers will make delays and shortages more common.

The good news, however, is that you can prepare in advance and minimize the damage caused by the pandemic. Here are a few tips to prepare for peak shipping season this year:

Budget Realistically

Understand that the costs of shipping, especially overseas, is about to increase dramatically. Calculate these inflated rates into your budget plan so you’re not blindsided by a huge bill during the busiest time of the year.

In fact, now is the best time to shop around for competitive freight rates, before they get too booked. Being proactive on your shipment plans can help you receive timely service at a reasonable price. 

Factor in Delays

When conveying your expected delivery dates to potential clients and customers, be sure to factor in all potential delays. Offering a flexible “delivered by” time can prevent angry and impatient clients from calling you up.

Be sure to also consider transit time, as the pandemic has also caused a shortage in truck drivers. 

Most delays on the road are beyond your control, but you should aim to be as efficient as possible in the sectors of your business that you can control. This includes having an organized and informed warehouse and a speedlined pick-up system.

Consider Alternative Options

During the peak of the shipping season, you might have to consider alternative delivery options. For example, air freight or another shipping method may be cheaper and more easily available.

Think outside of the box to find innovative solutions to the issues that may arise. Consolidating freights or shifting modes could be your best option for satisfied customers.

Partner With a 3PL

Chances are, you have more experience with the products you provide and day-to-day management of your business, and less experience with the logistics of it. This is where a third-party logistics (3PL) provider can help.

These companies help with every step of the supply chain process. They have the expertise needed to manage a complicated shipping season, even in this chaotic year. 

Your East Coast 3PL Provider

This peak shipping season, trust Cannon Hill Logistics to help with all your distribution needs. We have over 35 years of experience helping small businesses thrive. Our convenient East Coast location means we can reach half the US population within just 3 days! Call today to receive a quote.