On Dec. 6 and 7, the beverage industry will gather in person in Santa Monica, CA, to learn and take action at BevNet Live! Experts will speak to the community about innovations and challenges within the industry.
Team Taylor will be there, and we want to talk with you! We are here for you if you have any questions or want to chat on areas of interest in fulfillment, food-grade certifications, packaging, eCommerce, operations, supply chain management, and transportation.
It’s almost the end of summer, and pumpkin-spiced everything season is right around the corner, and it’s also the start to peak shipping. Our team of experts is looking at how to succeed during this busy season and how 2021 could shape up differently from years past.
What is peak season shipping?
There are four seasons of freight shipping and the peak season of shipping starts at the end of the summer. This time is considered a peak shipping season because there is a combination of demand from different markets. Businesses start stocking up for the upcoming holiday season, there is back-to-school shopping time, and retailers try to sell out their inventories from the summer season. During this peak time, freight rates are at the highest, and the capacity is tight.
What are the four seasons of freight shipping?
The Quiet Shipping Season (January – March)
The Produce Shipping Season (April – July)
The Peak Shipping Season (August – October)
The Holiday Shipping Season (November – December)
How to be successful throughout the peak shipping season
Knowing the market
The key to navigating peak shipping season is to understand the truckload demand and market specifics across various industries. In 2020, demand was low, and freight rates were higher than usual. In 2021 however, shippers are less cost-sensitive, and freight volumes are extremely hot. If you plan to work with high-quality carriers, start navigating the market during spring and early summer. Create a proper shipping strategy to help you define the market trends and successfully ship goods.
During the peak shipping season, you need every advantage you can get! Here’s an example, you can efficiently utilize a transportation management system (TMS) to optimize route planning and ensure efficient deliveries. You can also use other supply chain technology to automate warehousing processes and inventory control, providing up-to-the-minute data on your entire operation.
Work with reliable a 3PL
Reliable 3PL here, and we will make sure you have fast and reliable shipping services. Our team knows that freight, more often than not, is time-sensitive, and capacity can be tight. So we work with a wide variety of professional, high-quality carriers to ensure your products are delivered timely and with ease.
First things first, what exactly is contract warehousing? Let’s break it down:
A contract warehouse manages the shipping, receiving, and storage of goods on a contract basis. This warehouse type usually requires a brand to commit to services for a particular period (typically years rather than months). The fee structure also varies based on transactions; it may be a fixed cost, cost-plus, or a combination of both. Contract warehouses can also perform many other services, such as eCommerce, handling, packing, labeling, packaging, fulfillment, and similar activities.
There are a couple of different warehousing options available to brands of all sizes. Some will choose to develop and maintain their own spaces, while others opt for leased space.
A popular option is a contract warehouse space. Here are some benefits:
Lower Capital Investment
Establishing a new warehouse operation can be time-consuming, and sometimes it’s best to focus your efforts on what will lead to business growth, leaving the logistics to a partner (Like #TeamTaylor). Contract warehousing requires less financial investment upfront and less commitment overall. In addition, suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers can benefit from facilities already set up for their specific needs, such as temperature-controlled storage or approved food-grade facilities, and respond to growth quickly and efficiently.
With less of a commitment needed overall, contract warehousing allows any sized business to avoid taking on risks associated with the long-term investment of developing a more extensive warehouse operation.
Contract warehousing allows you to use only what you need. This flexibility is vital if your needs change over time, like seasonal changes or new product launches. It also allows smaller businesses to benefit from equipment or procedures that would be too costly to implement independently.
Better Efficiencies of Operations
Contract warehousing can lower your operating and distribution costs immensely. But, of course, warehousing is only one part of your entire business operation. Still, for contractors, that is all they do so they can streamline their processes, lower operational costs and pass on the savings to you.
If you’ve seen higher than expected freight rates, we hear you, we see you. There’s a couple of potential factors for these increases. Since Q2 of 2020, the freight markets have shown robust growth, which has raised rates dramatically. While this is good news for carriers and manufacturers, it has caused CPG shippers to pay the price in rising freight rates. In this week’s blog, our team analyzes the various factors that are driving up freight rates and why they are happening.
Factor 1 | Port Congestion
With pandemic-related consumer shopping habits, many West Coast ports operated at maximum capacity during the summer. In 2021, the uptick in imports has compounded the situation and caused even more congestion. March retail sales increased by 9.8% sequentially and 14.3% year-over-year. A 27.7% jump led to an increase in sales of food services. With more imports on board, shippers should brace for capacity constraints. As the produce season gets underway, rates will also rise.
Factor 2 | Produce Season
The start of the produce season typically occurs in February in the southern US. By spring/summertime, it has reached the majority of the US. During this time, capacity is tightened as refrigerated carriers dedicate a lot of their space to hauling produce. Other products that can ship via dry van or on refrigerated trucks will move to van transport, thus increasing freight rates across the board.
Factor 3 | Reliance on Split Shipments
eCommerce brands have been comprehensively using split shipments for years. Firstly goods need to be picked from inventories across different locations. With not enough room on a single truck or plane for an entire shipment, it may have to be divided into individual boxes and delivered individually. Split shipments happen to occur even more often during cross-country or international shipment of goods. The more the shipments, the costlier the shipping costs; therefore, the trend ends up being a pricey affair and often harmful to the shipping ecosystem.
Counter Rising Rates with these Techniques:
One of the most effective ways to combat these high freight rates is planning shipments far in advance. Cargo cost is increasing every day. To avoid paying surged charges and avail early bird facilities, companies have to plan their shipments well in advance strategically. Working with a team of transportation experts (Like Taylor) that uses digital platforms to leverage data on the freight costs to predict rates and trends affecting the rates will help to plan and lower costs.
Work With A Team Of Experts
Work with a dedicated logistics team to ensure conditions do not endanger profitability. Teaming up with a partner like Taylor can help your organization correctly forecast costs and find more favorable pricing through consolidation or mode optimization services.
It’s no secret that the transportation industry is heavily dependent on supply and demand. Every year holds uncertainty from consumer trends to the ups and downs of the market; however, there is always a forecasted plan for the seasons of freight. Like fall, winter, spring, and summer, the transportation industry also has four seasons. Below are the four seasons to the to freight shipping.
January – March
It’s a new year; the holidays are past us, and freight volume is on the decline. Not to mention these months are the peak of winter, the frigid temperatures and snowy roadways are not shipping-friendly. Typically during these months logistics companies are recovering from holiday shipping. Freight volume will start to progress as the months approach the spring season.
April – July
With the arrival of spring, the produce season begins. Freight volumes will increase, and carriers have more loads to choose from allowing them to pick and choose different loads. With carriers being pickier, finding trucks become more challenging, and rates increase. In certain parts of the United States, the capacity and shipping rates change significantly for non-produce shippers, as carriers are massively switching to high-paying produce loads.
August – October
Produce season has come to an end; however, the hecticness doesn’t stop here. It’s now time to prepare for back to school season and to start planning for the upcoming holidays. During these months, sales are typically up, and companies are rapidly shipping products in and out of their facilities to ensure all inventory is ready for the holidays. Rates are still climbing, and freight volumes are towering.
November – December
Happy Holidays! It’s that time of year again; companies are rushing to complete last-minute purchase requests before the holiday closures. The new year is rapidly approaching, and no one wants to leave freight behind and drag it into the new year. The roads start to get busy with people taking time off for long weekends, holiday gatherings, and vacation time. It’s a time that needs to be carefully planned as last-minute items can pop up, and delays are likely.
Talk With Taylor
Our team is continuously on top of marketing changes and forecasted trends. Knowing the four seasons of transportation freight is just the beginning of our expertise. Let us be your transportation advisor. Chat with us!
Given this year’s unique circumstances, many of us are celebrating Mother’s Day at home or even away from the women — moms, grandmas, aunts, you name it — that we love most. For that reason, some Mother’s Day traditions like spa days and brunches won’t be possible. However, the tradition of buying flowers is still booming. Because of the ease of doorstep delivery and social distancing protocols in place, it’s no surprise that flowers are amongst the most popular mother’s day gift of 2020. The NRF reports that 64% of consumers are expecting to mail a bouquet this year. For flowers to arrive fresh to your receiver’s doorstep, there are a variety of factors that must take place to ensure optimal freshness, including the cold supply chain.
What is Cold Supply Chain?
The term cold chain refers to the transportation of temperature-sensitive products, such as flowers, along the supply chain using thermal and cooling packaging methods along with refrigerated trucks.
Most of the flowers purchased in the United States come from Europe, South America, and Africa, making the cold chain a massive player in flower delivery. The main entry points for planes transporting flowers are Miami International Airport and LAX. The stems are then kept in refrigerated rooms in the airport before making their way across the country in refrigerated planes or trucks. From regional airports, they move to refrigerated distribution centers and then on to florists. Keeping flowers at a precise temperature throughout this long journey can be a big challenge, and cold chain interruptions can cause flowers to lose as much as 40 percent of their vase life, even if they are returned to a cold environment after the interruption.
Dedicated supply chains will become more critical to control risks associated with availability, quality, and price. A single, strong facilitator is needed to make such a supply chain function smoothly.
Every week it seems as though there’s a new brewery popping up somewhere in town. However, many craft brewers do not have an adequate keg inventory to expand to multi-state distribution and to meet the new market demand. As a result, they may need to purchase more kegs, bottles, growlers, and cans in order to have sufficient on-hand inventory. Let us free up your time so you can focus on what’s essential, brewing fantastic beer.
Finding the right logistics partner requires careful research. Our team suggests that brewers evaluate potential 3PL’s by looking at a few key areas:
Food-Grade Facilities: Let’s start with the basics. You’ll want a provider with facilities that are food-grade SQF certified and have an A.I.B. “superior” sanitation rating.
One-Stop Shop: Chances are, you need more than warehousing for your beer. Fulfillment, transportation, packaging, etc. If your 3PL can deliver single-source solutions, they’ll help streamline your supply chain, control costs, and improve service to your customers.
Transportation Management: Can your 3PL provide real-time visibility and reporting? While giving you cost-effective options for delivering products when and where needed?
Getting your beer to the consumer.
Third party logistics companies, when you work with them for alcohol shipments, will need to be aware of different regulations. For instance, trucks transporting alcohol cannot veer off their course by more than seven miles from a federal highway during the shipment. If the driver does—say, by eating lunch on a break off the highway—the DOT may have the authority to impound that shipment. Alcohol is regulated by the individual states and not the federal government, so what would be considered following the law in Ohio doesn’t necessarily fly in Nebraska, Kentucky, Virginia, etc. That’s where it gets tricky. So it’s helpful to find a logistics company that knows the ins and outs of liquor shipping so that you can feel confident about their work.
Less-than-truckload shipments of alcohol are frequent, meaning if you have one pallet or 12, you can get your beer moving to its destination on a truck with other shipments. Taylor knows you just want people to enjoy your tasty beer, so we take care of the tricky parts for you. We have thousands of carriers in our network throughout the nation that meet the specific requirements set up by the states your beer needs to travel through for consistent alcohol shipments. Our team will set everything up, all you have to do is let us know about your shipment, and we’ll let you know when it arrives!
2020 marks the 170th year in business for Taylor, and for the past couple of decades, our focus has been all things food and beverage from warehousing to transportation our team knows a thing or two about food grade best practices.
Taylor’s fleet is supported by specialized carrier partners to provide nationwide freight transportation