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QuickBox Fulfillment Jul 10, 2024 4 min read

Rising Temperatures, Rising Challenges: How to Handle Summer Freight

Summer brings more than just warmer (or even sweltering) weather and long, not-so-lazy days. It brings unique challenges, especially when it comes to supply chains. The increased temperatures can affect a wide range of products, from fruits and vegetables to cosmetics and supplements, etc.

In addition, the season sees a surge in shipping demand as customers get online to shop for beverages to cool off, camping gear to escape the heat (and the crowds), outdoor supplies to make summer more fun (and comfortable), and more. These increased demands can impact costs, delivery times, and capacity, making it crucial for businesses to prepare effectively.

Here are just a few ways seasonal changes affect supply chains…

Impact of Summer on Supply Chains

One of the biggest supply chain challenges is the increased shipping costs over the summer. These increases can be due to rising fuel and labor costs from summertime surges. However, they can also be due to temperature-controlled shipping, which is especially important for heat-sensitive products. For instance, cosmetics and supplements often require temperature-controlled shipping options, which can increase costs.

The increased demand during the summer can also extend delivery times due to the higher volume. For instance, carriers and logistic providers are also busier, delivering more shipments, which can slow the process and create capacity constraints. With more goods being shipped, it can also be more challenging to find available carriers. Companies preparing for the summer surge may also stress warehouse space and storage capacity.

Finally, especially when the mercury climbs, equipment malfunctions are more likely, which can lead to delays.

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to prepare for summer freight challenges to beat the heat and stay on track.

How to Prepare for the Heat of Summer Shipping

For starters, remember you aren’t in this alone. A quality 3PL provider can play a critical role in helping you manage summer freight challenges. Here’s how to leverage this partnership:

  • Forecasting and Planning: Work with your 3PL to accurately forecast. Sharing sales projections and historical data can help your team plan for the increased volume and navigate past delays.
  • Carrier Contracts: Your 3PL can help negotiate flexible contracts that allow for adjustments in shipping volumes and routes as needed. This can be especially valuable if one area is hit with extreme weather.
  • Proactive Communication: Maintaining open, transparent, and trusted lines of communication with your 3PL allows you to stay informed about potential delays and issues and how to quickly get back on track.
  • Inventory Optimization: By strategically stocking up on high-demand items in advance, you can reduce the need for urgent shipments at peak times.
  • Storage Solutions: Using temperature-controlled warehousing and freight solutions can help protect sensitive products from heat damage.
  • Advanced Technology: Streamline operations and improve efficiency by tracking and monitoring shipments in real time. This also allows you to respond quickly to any issues. Data analytics can also help you gain insights into shipping patterns and make informed decisions.
  • Diversify Carriers: Having a diverse carrier network through your 3PL can also help you better manage capacity constraints. Working with diverse carriers ensures you have options if faced with capacity issues. Don’t overlook regional carriers. They may have more availability and flexibility to ensure your packages are delivered on time.
  • Contingency Planning: Planning for unexpected challenges, such as emergency shipments, route delays, or other disruptions, can help keep your shipments on track.

Yes, summer freight can present unique and unforeseen challenges. However, with careful planning and collaboration with your preferred 3PL provider, you can ensure your supply chain remains resilient.

Contact us today to discuss how to prepare now to minimize summer disruptions and keep your operations running seamlessly through the heat of the summer.