There are two essential factors that effect the transportation industry – supply and demand (market conditions). These determine the rates and the capacity. Each year, typical seasonal shifts are witnessed in market conditions. One needs to understand and acknowledge this. Having knowledge of the seasonality of freight helps one in understanding the dynamics of freight volume each year. There are usually four seasons in freight industry.
January-March – Quiet Season
Once holidays are over, another year begins. Temperatures drop in most of the world. Few highways are covered in snow in some countries. Weather gets unsuitable for shipping. Usually, the transportation industry recovers during these first few months after the holiday season. The freight volume gradually increases, showing a spike in March as the spring approaches.
April-July – Produce Season
The freight volume starts picking up, after dormant season as the spring comes. There are more freight options as the produce season begins. The market tightens up, the rates shoot up, and get pickier, as the prices rise. Finding a truck gets challenging. Shippers who donot research their regions (to understand how the produce season will affect them) become desperate to move their goods.
August-October – Peak Season
It gets busier for everyone post the produce season, in the transportation business. Preparations for holidays and for the back-to-school happens around this time. Shipping volume increases as companies ship their products in and out of their warehouses due to high sales, therefore they need to make sure they’re all set for the holiday season. Usually, the freight volume and rates are at their peak.
November-December / the Holiday Season
These are festive months. Many occasions round the corner, and many buy presents. Shippers also rush to get everything done and complete their last orders before Holiday closures as they don’t want to drag undelivered freight into the new year. Usually, the last few days before everyone leaves are typically the busiest because shippers are trying their best to ship everything that was overlooked, got delayed, or popped up the last minute.
Firms are now more than ever required to adapt to the way they manage their supply chain. This helps them to meet consumer demand during peak times. Online market has boomed over the last 10 years and has brought with it many challenges for logistics infrastructure. Consumers are demanding goods and services at their convenience. Logistics operations require efficiency more during the festive season.
If companies can solve basic issues of early communication and resource planning, then the experience is much smoother during festive period. If clients receive their goods over the festive period, at the right time then the logistics company is considered a success.