Peak shopping season may be another quarter of the year away, but we know that key players in the logistics industry—including 3PL warehouses—can't wait until the last minute to prepare for the upcoming uptick in fulfillment activity and consumer shopping.
So, the question is, where do you begin with your planning? We hope you’ll find all the resources you need in this Peak Season Playbook.
This year, we decided to try something a little different with our annual Peak Season Playbook by creating a bundle of resources—including a checklist, an infographic, an e-book, and more—covering all the bases for your peak season preparations.
Tackling Customer Communication and Forecasting for Peak Season Checklist
It’s that time of year again to start formulating—and executing—your seasonal prep work, even if peak order volumes don’t hit until next quarter. The first step? Proactively communicating with your customers about their peak season plans so you can begin forecasting not only demand but also the resources needed to succeed this season.
Use this checklist to guide you as you gather all the details you need to start peak prep.
Working with Freight Carriers Q&A
We asked three industry-leading shipping experts—BUKU Ship, Pitney Bowes, and ShipEngine—for their top tips for working with freight carriers this peak season.
Read on to see their answers to the top 3PL peak season shipping questions.
Shoring Up Finances Tip Sheet
The number one reason that businesses fail is because they run out of cash. In normal times, cash flow is important. In peak season, cash flow can get dire for some businesses.
Before this peak season, develop your financial strategy and consult with your finance team to ensure you have enough working capital to cover the increased costs of shipping and labor.
Locking Down Labor Infographic
Forecasting and securing the right number of workers is one of the most important preparations 3PL warehouses must tackle before peak season. Now that we’re approaching peak, 3PLs are in a crunch to find workers to fill the gap as ecommerce demand is starting to recover.
The main problem 3PLs are facing? The struggle to forecast labor needs accurately has created a predicament where they may not find and retain enough workers for peak season.
Fortifying IT & Systems E-book
Getting your technology in order is one of the most important steps you can take to prepare for peak season. There’s no two ways about it, you need the right technology that will streamline your operations, and you need it quick.
Fortify your existing IT and systems for this year’s peak season. How? By upgrading where you can in this constrained timeframe, increasing training to get the most out of your current tech, and investing in professional services where available to ensure you are following industry best practices.
Make no mistake—despite a gloomy economic outlook this year, peak season is still on. According to Insider Intelligence, holiday season retail sales are expected to grow 4.5% YoY (almost identical to last year’s 4.8% growth), bringing total retail spending to $1.328 trillion for the 2023 holiday season. That’s trillion with a ‘T.’ Furthermore, retail ecommerce is expected to make up 19.6% of total 2023 holiday sales, making peak season preparations even more critical for 3PLs serving ecommerce brands.
Go time is almost here, so now is the time to tackle customer communication & forecasting, work with freight carriers, shore up finances, lock down labor, and fortify your IT & systems.