Logistics companies generally experience peaks in demand during autumn and winter, while spring and summer can be a somewhat quieter time. That’s not to say the logistics industry has little to do for six months, far from it in fact, but with big events such as Christmas, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the January sales, there is always a greater demand over this period.
Seasonality can provide many challenges but also opportunities for logistics companies which they deal with in different ways.
Dealing with increased demand
The main impact of seasons on logistics firms is with the increased demand they will face in busy periods in the run-up to and over Christmas. In the past, seasonality pressure has resulted in some logistics companies being overstretched, missing delivery deadlines ending up finding expensive, last-minute solutions. With new approaches and better planning though, logistics businesses such as Tuffnells expect a greater demand and prepare for this by making sure they have plenty of availability across these busy periods.
Severe weather effects
During the winter seasons especially, severe weather can have a big impact on any logistics company. Heavy snow, ice on the roads and flooding are unavoidable when they occur and can cause significant delays and even cancellations of orders. Whether it’s in a B2C environment and the final mile is affected getting products to customers, or in a B2B circumstance and the supply chain breaks down, it can be a real headache for the logistics industry. Poor flying and shipping conditions don’t help either, so sometimes the impact of severe weather has to just be waited out.
Benefits of strong relationships
As logistics companies are aware of the seasonal impacts, they are more likely to reward loyalty during these times. Building up a strong relationship can lead to various benefits at this time. For example, many logistics firms will up their prices over the Christmas period but if you have a history and can promise to use their services for the coming year or longer, they will be more likely to provide a discount. Logistics businesses would rather secure a year-round contract than just charging a higher price for only two months of the year.
The importance of planning
To successfully deal with the challenges of seasonality, planning is incredibly important. For logistics businesses this involves looking ahead to the weather forecast and arranging more deliveries earlier if a storm is expected, for example. While kitting out delivery vehicles with winter tyres and other appropriate equipment is also common. As long as the logistics company has appropriately planned for the season ahead, everything should run as smoothly as possible.