Not all international shipping is smooth sailing, and certain periods of the year are especially prone to difficulties. Follow these tips to mitigate the impact.
No year is quite like the one before, but there are generally two peak season periods for international freight shipments.
The first is roughly mid-August to mid-October as retailers build inventory in advance of the Holiday Shopping season.
The impact of western demand for inventory fueled by Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Holiday Shopping combines with a 7-day celebration for Chinese National Day (typically beginning around October 1st) to push the limits of the international freight supply chain.
The second peak season is in January/February during the build up to the Chinese New Year. Chinese manufacturers push volume in advance of the national holiday, resulting in a short-term surge in shipping demand.
What To Be Expected During Peak Season
Unsurprisingly, as demand goes up, so do prices. Shipments during the peak season are often faced with higher base rates, surcharges, volatility and delays. It can be a difficult pill to swallow, but with a global supply/demand capacity imbalance, there's little that individual companies can do to negotiate.
How To Limit the Impact of Shipment Delays and Costs During Peak Season
Where possible, shipping outside of peak season or having some flexibility with your shipment should lower your shipping costs, but here at Mercury, we know that isn't always an option and we've identified some solutions to help mitigate any impact:
First and foremost, plan ahead and communicate. Staying in regular communication with our team and/or providing a forecast of your shipping needs can allow us to find the best solution for you.
Prioritize your shipments. Make sure to communicate which shipments are more or less urgent and the sequence in which the shipments need to arrive.
Split Shipments into smaller increments. Need to ship 100 units of your product? Split it into two or three smaller packages so that you can more quickly secure space on board your freight vehicle.
Build-in time for delays. Not only can there be challenges in route, but customs and border agencies can also get bogged down in the surge of shipments. Working with a logistics expert or customs broker is especially valuable during this time.