Skip to content
2019 Supply Chain Peak Season

2019 Supply Chain Peak Season Outlook

With 2018 setting new records for the average peak season expansion, it comes as a surprise to supply chain leaders that the season may fall slightly short. As explained by Jeff Berman of Logistics Management, shippers were extremely optimistic for the 2019 supply chain peak season. Strong GDP growth, strong economic undertones, and a belief in success in Brexit hinted at broad growth. Unfortunately, things change, and now supply chain leaders must rethink their plans, consider what is happening in the world that may impact the supply chain, and what’s needed to ensure success regardless of how the season performs.

What’s Causing Uncertainty for the Upcoming Peak Season?

As predicted in Supply Chain 24/7, the less-than-truckload peak season represented a significant jump in demand. Tightening capacity, more expectations for an increased volume of parcel shipments, general rate increases, and optimism surrounding the next legislative session were set to contribute to higher growth in 2019. Unfortunately, the United States-China tariff-related trade war began. Manufacturing began to slow, and Amazon dumped FedEx. Now, the market has grown 1.6% through June 2019, but that is roughly one-fourth of the growth over the same period from 2018. Despite these uncertainties, one-third of supply chain respondents expect the 2019 peak season to be stronger than last year.

Surging Demand Will Push the 2019 Supply Chain Peak Season to its Breaking Point

A quiet optimism exists for the 2019 peak supply chain season. Approximately 34.8% of supply chain executives and leaders expect a slight decline in demand for the coming season, but the overwhelming majority, 65.4% collectively, expect the market to remain at the same or greater volume as last year. As a result, demand for more shipments, faster service, and more manufacturing will push the 2019 supply chain to its proverbial breaking point. The takeaway is clear; those that take steps to prepare today can achieve warehouse success and efficiency, but a loss of optimism will almost guarantee failure if the majority proves correct.

Tips to Prepare for the 2019
Supply Chain Peak Season

A few tips for building on past experiences and preparing for the 2019 peak season include:

  1. Use metrics to improve inventory management and to plan for the season, notes Supply Chain Brain.
  2. Conduct a company-wide, end to end inventory count, validating accuracy, and quality of inventory.
  3. Revisit the strategy chosen for picking and replenishment practices.
  4. Reduce the number of touchpoints when filling and shipping orders.
  5. Analyze the logistics of your in-warehouse functions.
  6. Improve communication preferences through integrated, automated systems..
  7. Reslot your warehouse.
  8. Ensure that all workers receive the appropriate amount and quality of training.
  9. Put the full power of your WMS, including optimization functions, to use.
  10. Remember to consider labor-management too, reports a Logistics Management-Canon joint publication.

Prioritize Your Systems and Investments This Season

The outlook for the 2019 supply chain peak season is bright. Despite the challenges placed on the industry by economic turmoil and the state of the Brexit fiasco, customer buying power remains strong. As a result, supply chain leaders must approach the 2019 season with an expectation for above-average volumes for past peak periods. Instead of waiting until it is too late, prioritize your systems and investments to streamline operations and meet changing demand. Find out how you can get started by requesting a consultation with Veridian online now.

Stay up to Date