Traditionally, the peak of pre-holiday shopping occurs in the fourth quarter of every year. In response to the pre-Christmas rush, retail chains are restocking long before the holidays, sometimes even in the summer. During this busy time of the year, the logistics industry is looking for solutions to minimize the effects of order pile-ups.
Planning plays a major role in proper preparation for the holiday season. The increased demand for shopping requires data analysis, proper work allocation, and competent load management.
"Negotiating sales volume expectations with customers is crucial to supply chain planning. Unless we know the plans of the counterparties with whom we cooperate, we cannot provide the proper amount of inventory. When preparing for the high season, it also helps to have a good understanding a customer’s operations and industry,” points out Marcin Nagodzinski, Sales Specialist at AsstrA.
Analysis of previous peak-sale periods will help predict and execute this season’s large-scale orders. Quantity of goods sold, employees hired, warehouse space used, overall demand, and logistics trends are all factors worth considering. It’s also worth preparing a crisis response plan and having a system for identifying bottlenecks before traffic volume rises during the holidays.
"For several years now, we have seen an increase in sales throughout the fourth quarter, not just in December. This is due to the growing consumer awareness about goods’ availability and the rapid development of e-commerce. In addition, the pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine, and rampant inflation are contributing to extended delivery times. Customers are aware of the changes, so they make holiday purchases in advance," adds Marcin Nagodzinski.
AsstrA analysis of intra-European goods traffic over the past three years shows an average of 4.3% more transport orders made in the second part of the year vs. the first. The third quarter is therefore crucial when it comes to completing orders. The fourth quarter stands well above the previous three in terms of order volume in the fashion & beauty, packaging, and building material industries.
Author: Kamila Rynkiewicz.