The peak shopping season is fast approaching, and the question is, whether independent freight forwarders like you are ready to deal with the tremendous rush during Black Friday. Consumer interest in Black Friday has been on a steady rise year after year. Nevertheless, it remains a significant challenge for logistics companies who need to effectively plan their operations and manage smooth transportation for seasonal events such as Black Friday, Christmas, Chinese New Year and similar occasions. When it comes to preparing for distribution logistics, various complications can arise, potentially resulting in missed sales opportunities or a negative customer experience, including issues like product shortages, delivery delays, or customer complaints.
The Black Friday rush presents an opportunity for your logistics company to thrive, but it also brings challenges that can strain your business and employees. Thankfully, you can conquer these hurdles and make the most of the festive shopping season by proactively preparing. In this blog, we will take you through the essential steps to ensure your team is fully equipped for the holiday rush.
How independent freight forwarders should prepare their business for the holiday rush
The day following Thanksgiving, commonly known as Black Friday, frequently signifies the official commencement of the holiday shopping season in the United States. Numerous businesses present Black Friday sales and offers to entice customers. Independent freight forwarders often need to dedicate weeks to prepare for this impending surge, which challenges their ability to strategize short and medium-term operations and respond to unforeseen circumstances.
Black Friday challenges in 2023
This surge in demand during the Black Friday also implies a strain on the global supply chain. In recent months, issues such as equipment shortages, steep increases in sea freight rates, and congestion at major port hubs worldwide have disrupted the daily operations of the freight forwarding industry. These challenges have been compounded by the sector’s struggles with soaring energy costs and the scarcity of essential raw materials and microchips for various production sectors.
In addition to the customary impact that Black Friday exerts on the logistics industry, such as heightened transportation demand, a sudden surge in shipments and deliveries, increased warehousing requirements, and labor shortages, the year 2023 presents distinctive challenges to the supply chain.
Climate change, accompanied by heatwaves in various regions, is expected to significantly raise the costs associated with maintaining the cooling requirements for perishable and cosmetic goods. These items will need to be stored and transported under controlled temperature conditions. Furthermore, this year, the supply chain may also face disruptions due to labor strikes. The UK has witnessed a recent upswing in industrial actions, exemplified by the Royal Mail strikes in 2022 that severely disrupted deliveries. Notably, Amazon has grappled with a series of walkouts in recent months, raising the possibility of further labor actions during the peak retail season.
Tips for logistics companies to cope with the rush
Plan in Advance
The first step is to mark your calendar and devise a strategy for the movement of goods both before and after the Black Friday. This rush during this time can impede freight forwarders’ access to manufactured items for potentially up to a month, making it essential to stock up in advance.
Communicate with Your Network Partners in the USA
We strongly recommend reaching out to your Conqueror partners operating in various regions of the USA. Their extensive market experience equips them to help you navigate the challenges posed by the Black Friday and identify optimal solutions. As some of the finest freight forwarders, Conqueror agents possess the expertise to ensure the smooth operation of your logistics during this period. They are reliable and highly capable freight forwarding agents, offering insights into the situation, facilitating valuable connections, and devising innovative solutions to meet your needs.
Establish Strong Supplier Relationships
Suppliers often face substantial pressure in the period leading up to and following the Black Friday, necessitating the prioritization of orders and customers. To address this challenge, we recommend creating a strategic plan in collaboration with your supplier. If feasible, consider diversifying your pool of suppliers.
Cultivate Positive Relationships with Air Freight Companies
Comprehensive logistical planning, covering shipping, road freight, and storage, is crucial for effectively addressing any potential disruptions in your supply chain. Maintaining a robust relationship with air freight companies is particularly advantageous during this challenging period. It ensures that your shipments receive priority treatment when dealing with significant backlogs. In essence, fostering strong ties with both your air freight provider and suppliers empowers you with valuable leverage when transportation channels become congested due to heightened demand.