It is no surprise that a record setting holiday shipping season is upon us. Companies have anticipated the increase in shipping volumes in addition to the already elevated levels of capacity and rates due to COVID-19, but there is still a lot of uncertainty that lies ahead. With shippers and carriers experiencing drastic market volatility, creating a ripple effect across many industries, it remains difficult to imagine things returning to normal for the rest of 2020. Here are some things to expect when preparing for the upcoming holiday shipping season.
IMPORT CONTAINERS ARE FULL/ LOW INVENTORY
The import ships, and containers coming from Asia are 100% full and booked for the next few months. In fact, even container manufacturers are sold out until 2021. Import shipments to America have remained well above the level they were last year and will most likely see new highs for the upcoming holiday season. The Asia – North American capacity is up over 20% from last year and is predicted to increase to 24% by the end of November. Consumers have continued to spend, easily beating forecasts and in some cases by double. Because of COVID-19, trucks are piling up at the docks waiting to be loaded because of the protocols put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. While the demand is expected to increase as we get closer to the holidays, you are likely to see an even bigger shortage of trucks.
Coronavirus has made every industry think differently about how they do things, shipping and logistics is no exception. COVID-19 has brought about more than a few challenges and expect more to come with winter hitting and more people staying indoors. Many companies have had to implement different protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and I think we will see more efforts from shippers to build out better processes and communication that will make moving product more efficient when people are working remote. Then there is always the talk of a second stimulus which based on previous one, will have a major effect on consumer spending.
Ecommerce sales are at an all-time high and expected to reach new records as consumers shift to buying online instead of in stores during the pandemic. A large portion of the country have made the shift to shopping online for most of their products and local laws and health guidelines limiting indoor capacity and stay-at-home precautions that are leading to more purchases for home offices and recreation rather than spending on services that involve more person-to-person contact. Businesses have begun offering online deals instead of in store deal because of the increasing demand of ecommerce.
There is no doubt that this holiday shipping season will be unlike anything we have ever seen before so it is important to anticipate what could happen to your business in the next 2 months. Accounting for every possibility is the best way to keep ahead of the competition and satisfy your customers. MVP Logistics can provide supply chain analysis to review every step of your process to ensure you are ready for the upcoming peak holiday season in 2020.
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