2018 Peak Season Check List Preparation

June 1, 2018       


To Our Valued Customers, 


Peak Season Preparation – As Memorial Day Weekend kick starts the unofficial start of summer it’s also a good idea for shippers to review their peak shipping season preparation check list.  A typical peak season runs from July thru October.  Even if your freight doesn’t fall into the historical “peak season” category you can still feel the adverse effects when moving freight during this time frame.  It’s important to first review any challenges you faced during the previous peak season and what corrective actions are necessary to avoid a similar outcome.  Review current market conditions and identify potential disruptions that may impact your supply chain.  


2017 Peak Season in Review -  Market did face an unexpected disruption with Maersk Lines being severely impacted by a cyberattack in June that forced freight to other carriers creating a short-term capacity crunch.  Outside of the unforeseen market disruption capacity on Pacific Southwest services did tighten thru the typical peak season cargo rush in the late summer months into October.  Cargo moving to inland rail destinations were impacted as ocean carriers focused on port business for faster turn times on their containers back to Asia.  As inland points via the Pacific Southwest were limited the Pacific Northwest Gateways in Canada were hard hit with long dwell times during September and October.  Average delays before rail departure were over 4 days.  East Coast capacity was sufficient overall with large influx of capacity due to the Panama Canal expansion complete and larger vessels able to transit.        


2018 Peak Season Check List:


  • Review your purchase order ready dates for cargo that will move during the peak period.  Share your forecast with providers to assure capacity requirements are sufficient and bookings are executed on time.    
  • Review your logistical gateways into your distribution centers and drop ship locations.  Check if multiple gateways are possible, check costs and transit times with your forwarder to diversify risk in case of a market disruption.       
  • Does your current forwarding partner utilize multiple ocean carriers and or alliances to minimize risk caused by vessel delays, port congestion, rail delays, delivery constraints and other unforeseen disruptions? 
  • Prioritize the most urgent purchase orders and minimize containers per individual booking.  When ocean carriers roll containers they do so by the booking number.  Simply put, it’s easier for the ocean carrier to reduce the container count on the vessel by rolling the larger container count bookings as they have fewer upset customers to pacify.  Your shipping costs will be higher since you will have additional customs clearance costs and forwarding fees however to protect your most critical shipments it’s well worth the additional expense. 
  • Ask your logistics partner to provide options that include utilizing services that have direct services other than transshipment, many times containers will be rolled at the transshipment port as main line vessel doesn’t have the capacity to upload additional containers at the transship port. 
  • How is your landside operations status?  Is your distribution centers or direct ship locations experiencing delivery delays because of the current US market trucking capacity limitations?  If capacity was an issue in 2017 it’s likely to get worse in 2018 peak season with the enforcement of ELD (Electronic Logging Device).  Make sure your delivery points are accommodating to the drivers by prioritizing live unloading containers, providing bathroom facilities, water and coffee to keep owner operators accepting your delivery orders during your most critical shipping!       


Please contact your local Laufer Group sales representative or National Business Development Managers bmartorano@laufer.com & ssampson@laufer.com if you would like more information as peak season quickly approaches!   








Have the News Delivered to you

Like what you see here? Why not let us send it directly to you?
Sign up to receive our Weekly Industry Newsletter, a compilation of all news articles that matter to you and your business.