Towards the end of the calendar year, there are plenty of reasons to go shopping, e.g. Black Friday sales, Christmas gifts for loved ones, and New Year celebrations. Both traditional and online stores quickly replenish the assortment of goods they sell during the busy season. Clearly organized logistics systems are what keeps those shelves filled. What best practices do transport and logistics industry experts use to make sure everyone receives a holiday gift? Let’s find it out with Justas Cibulskas, Head of the Groupage Cargo Division at AsstrA.
- Justas, how does seasonality affect the number of groupage orders?
Seasonality is an important factor causing increasing or decreasing traffic volumes for clients. In July, as the summer starts coming to a close and the winter holidays are on the horizon, the number of orders grows. In situations where sales increase predictably, clients usually send requests in advance. Thanks to this planning, AsstrA customers receive reserved vehicles and competitive prices.
In case of unplanned increases in sales, e.g. if discount pricing or an advertising campaign is particularly effective, AsstrA experts use all available resources to deliver our clients’ goods on time.
- Can you share the secrets of organizing less-than-container-load (LTL) transportation in the high season?
The AsstrA team pre-agrees planned transportation volumes with clients, contacts the shippers directly, and monitors the readiness of the shipment to be sent.
In the high season, there is a greater number of product assembly machines in operation. AsstrA specialists use the services of local transport companies and transshipment terminals. Domestically, small goods are collected from senders and delivered to a consolidation warehouse by small partner vehicles moving 4-8 pallets. LTL consignments are formed at the warehouse for further delivery via tarpaulin trucks to the final customer.
A two-stage assembly scheme can speeds up the delivery process. For example, in 3-5 days goods can be delivered from the EU to Central Russia. The exact shipping time depends on the places of loading and unloading and queues at the border checkpoint.
- What can you advise customers to do to receive goods on time in the busy season?
The terms should be calculated and agreed upon by the consignor and the client. Settling invoices between companies from different countries can take up to 3 days.
It is also good to prepare the goods for dispatch while awaiting payment. Sender warehouses as well as transport and logistics companies are typically overloaded in the busy season. If the goods are ready for shipment but the client did not schedule transportation in advance, it will likely not be possible to find a vehicle and load it so that the shipment arrives on time.
Regardless of the season, the key to successful transportation is to send the order as soon as possible. In addition, we recommend that senders communicate directly with the AsstrA team. This way, important information about the cargo and its readiness is exchanged without intermediaries. Transport and logistics company AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG picks up the goods without delay and gets them to shelves on time.