What and When is Peak Shipping Season?
Working in the logistics industry, the word “peak season” gets thrown around a lot as the summer months approach. If you’re not familiar with the term already, peak season refers to when demand for products is high and shipping demand comes in full swing for a few months.
Historically, the months for peak season are from August to October as back-to-school starts and a slew of holidays follow. However, peak season can easily extend to December for Christmas depending on market conditions and consumer demand. In places like China, peak season can even extend to February in anticipation of the Chinese New Year. So peak season really depends on major holidays and can vary from country to country as well!
As to why peak season occurs? It’s when demand for imports exceeds beyond the capacity carriers can handle. This drives up the base rates and, in some cases, introduces premiums such as guaranteed space to shippers.
What to Do When Peak Season Arrives?
If you’re reading this and peak season is approaching or have approached, this is what you should expect and do:
Leave extra lead time
Diversify in shipping modes and carriers
Obtain all necessary documentation for customs clearance
Leaving extra lead time can be very important to make sure your shipment arrives on time. When peak season is in full swing, delays become more common as carriers struggle to handle the increased demand and capacity is maxed. Therefore, being proactive and giving yourself the space for extra lead time can be very important in making sure your shipments are delivered on time in case of any sudden changes.
If you ever heard of the quote “never leave all your eggs in one basket”, this is one case where that maxim holds true. Diversifying shipping modes beyond ocean freight to air freight or rail can help you save time and may even be more cost-effective. As ocean freight rates steadily climb in the past few years, looking beyond alternative shipping methods is important to keep up with the times. Likewise, diversifying your carriers is also crucial. Different carriers charge different rates and also have different transportation networks. Hence, it may save on cost and time by expanding your carrier options as well as act as an insurance in case of an emergency where one carrier is unable to deliver your goods.
Customs clearance is one of the biggest hassles when importing items into the country. Not having the right documentation will lead to imposed fines and impounded cargo until the fines are paid. Worst case scenario? Your cargo is taken away and auctioned off when you are unable to pay the fines. So making sure that all documents are accounted for is crucial to avoiding delays and fines when importing goods.
How SFI Can Help You!
Straight Forwarding is an experienced freight forwarding company with decades of experience. Freight forwarders are logistics experts who offer a wide range of services that cater to customers of all types. Services freight forwarders offer includes customs clearance, shipping, organizing routes, and more to make sure that your shipment is delivered on time and in perfect condition.