Broadly speaking, there’s no such thing as “a supply chain.” Instead, it can be more useful to visualize the chain as a web; each sector of the economy experiences its ebb and flow of supply chain seasonality and has its own impact on the supply-and-demand driven nature of logistics. Understanding that seasonality, and the seasonal supply chain management concerns that accompany it is of prime importance for a freight broker like Able Transport Solutions and the companies with which we partner.
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How Does Seasonality Affect Supply?
To cite just one example, let’s look at Florida, where the consumption of many products outstrips production. That calls for a high volume of inbound trucking for most of the year until citrus crops and other products are ready for harvest; at this point, demand pivots to a higher demand for outbound trucking. Depending on where your freight originates, and where it’s bound, this can create certain stresses on your supply chain and the rates you’ll pay for expedited shipping in the Lower 48 states.
For a company like Able Transport Solutions, which specializes in 3PL for manufacturing and heavy equipment, those cycles look a bit different. Because we support a large number of construction clients, demand typically fluctuates based on different areas’ climate; in the Northeast and upper Midwest, winter ground freezes can bring construction to a grinding halt, disrupting demand until the spring thaw brings demand for storm relief, resumed projects, and new construction. This, in turn, can affect the availability and rates for rolling stock.
How to Navigate Changing Logistical Demands
Because the number of trucks available is finite, a seasonal spike in one sector can either add complexity to your sector’s supply chain or may instead alleviate it when falling demand in one sector frees up trucks to meet rising demand in another. Meeting those challenges can be vexing, but with experience and a good 3PL partner, you’ll find that there’s a way to meet each one.
Preparing for Your Peak Season
Among the moving parts a good 3PL will help you manage:
- Maximizing profits: It’s axiomatic that 80% of your profit comes from 20% of your effort. Fine-tuning manufacturing, stock levels, and shipping patterns help you make the most of it.
- Supply chain management: With shortages affecting nearly every sector, it’s useful to get help managing and adjusting your supply chain to minimize disruption.
- Relationship building: Our extensive network lets us identify underutilized trucks and put them to use, saving you time and money alike.
- Forecasting: Once all of the pieces are in place, our capabilities and emphasis shift from responding to your challenges to anticipating them, helping your business remain agile no matter what may come.
How a 3PL Can Boost Your Efficiency Through Seasonal Demands
Managing your business’s peaks and valleys demands knowing your industry and its shipping patterns. While this does come with time, even the most experienced businesses find that it’s helpful to get an assist. That’s where third-party logistics from Able comes in handy.
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Able Transport Solutions serves clients in the Lower 48, from SMBs to Fortune 500 companies. For assistance meeting your biggest logistical hurdles, we invite you to get in touch today.