Just as project cargo can present capacity and logistics challenges, so too can seasonal surge freight. Seasonal surge freight shipping refers to a dramatic increase in freight volume for a company that occurs anywhere from once up to a few times a year. The surge in volume under this definition relates to seasonality, whether that be of the goods themselves or of demand. No matter the industry and whatever the reason, seasonal surge freight shipping necessitates finding the right capacity above and beyond regular needs and ensuring reliability while keeping costs as low as possible. In other words, it means planning is paramount to avoid a scramble for capacity that can result in tremendous time spent and potentially exorbitant spot rates to avoid lost revenue due to items not getting to the customer. After all, seasonal surge freight is usually not limited to one company's needs, meaning there will be added competition for capacity as similarly situated shippers experience similar volume spikes. Regardless, it's key to gather the resources to manage these freight moves that are exponentially above typical volumes and often outside the freight lanes on which the company has carrier relationships.
Examples of Seasonal Surge Freight
Seasonal surge freight is a term that applies to a wide variety of goods, products and situations. Some specific examples of seasonal surge freight include:
Holiday-themed merchandise (like Easter candy or Halloween decorations)
In demand gifts (jewelry for Valentine's Day, toys for Christmas)
Produce (with fruit and vegetables ready for harvest during produce season for example)
Sports apparel & equipment (NFL and football equipment in the fall, College Basketball in March, etc)
When considering seasonality, there may also be weather considerations for some of the items above, like perishable foods, chocolate, medicine, etc., so temperature controlled capacity enters the equation as well. No matter the type of seasonal surge freight a company must move, it's imperative to plan ahead to avoid the unwelcome surprise of unavailable capacity (or ridiculous rates). Working with a logistics service provider (LSP) can alleviate much of the legwork and worry for shippers. For instance, working with InTek on a seasonal surge freight shipment follows multiple steps to ensure the job is done right (with client visibility through a state-of-the-art TMS):
InTek has the team, technology and freight capacity to handle the additional freight capacity to help. Our aforementioned TMS provides full transparency on how the freight is being handled and can easily push out customized reporting or give direct access into the data. Once the seasonal freight surge is completed, InTek provides the reporting and analysis to better prepare, quote and manage the next time the season hits.
If you need help with seasonal surge freight, let us know, and we'll work with you on solutions that fit your needs. For more information about freight and logistics - and what we do at InTek - visit our Resources page. Or you can start with a few of the links below: