The Official Freight Guide for Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2019
Have you planned your freight shipments for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Here’s everything you need to know to finish out Q4 strong.
Every year on Black Friday, consumer demand for goods skyrockets. Some stores opt to open late on Thanksgiving Day to help meet customer desire for products. Cyber Monday made its debut in 2005 once e-commerce took off, and remains one of the most popular shopping days of the year. But before products even hit the stores, the logistics industry must overcome a number of unique challenges to keep bargain hunters happy during the holiday season.
Is your business prepared to handle the Q4 shopping rush? Planning around changing freight capacities, freight rates, and delivery interruptions is tough, but Mothership is here to make things easy. We’ve put together a guide to help you celebrate a successful Q4 free from freight-related anxiety!
4 Freight Planning Tips for Black Friday & Cyber Monday
When demand for freight carriers goes way up, lowered capacity and increased freight rates is often the result. Delivery speed will also be affected by weather, dock availability, and driver options. Let’s break down specific strategies that will protect your supply chain for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the entire holiday season.
1. Be flexible.
The sheer volume of shipments during Q4 is a big challenge for freight carriers. Both online and brick and mortar retailers are working to keep their shelves full. Due to fluctuations in demand, suppliers who make the most accurate projections will feel the least strain. Forecasting supply and demand should afford you some flexibility when setting your freight delivery timeline. This also will allow you to work around additional days off or unusual business closings typical at this time of year.
When timelines are tight, businesses turn to Mothership to handle freight shipments. Gone are the days of spending hours or days negotiating rates with brokers via email or phone — with Mothership you can quote online instantly, book on-demand, and get same-day service in local zones.
2. Follow the weather.
In the United States, inclement weather such as rain, snow, and ice typically occur in Q4 and slow down the process of delivering freight. This leads to annual losses of up to $3.5 billion for the logistics industry. If your shipment is moving through a region subject to these shifting weather conditions, it’s beneficial to account for a few days of delay in your timeline. It is also crucial to pack freight for winter conditions to avoid freezing.
Hurricane season in the Gulf, Atlantic, and Southeast markets has been extending beyond the regular season for five consecutive years now, with warnings into December. Likewise, fast-moving winter storms can close passes through the Rocky Mountains and bring the Northeast and Midwest markets to a stand still. That’s why Mothership sends our partner carriers suggested routes that take real-time traffic and weather data into account, helping drivers make the safest possible choices to complete deliveries on time.
3. Partner with a provider.
Freight providers work with a network of carriers and have the knowledge to match you with the best services for your lane and delivery needs. When you book with Mothership, our automated freight dispatch system finds trucks and vans with extra space close by to handle your shipment. And since this process is automated, we’re able to dispatch local, less-than-truckload (LTL) and full truckload (FTL) freight faster than any other shipping provider.
Our partner drivers do all local zone and FTL shipments, making them eligible for on-demand booking and same-day pickup for tight timelines. And we partner with the most reliable LTL carriers in the country to handle shipments outside of our local zones.
4. Reorganize your supply chain.
Keep your operations moving by incorporating warehouses and distribution centers into your supply chain. By adding these strategically-placed locations to your route, you can avoid adverse weather conditions and make pickups and deliveries much faster.
Although delays can happen in the midst of a busy Q4, knowing how to mitigate these common challenges will make it easier to ensure successful deliveries. And remember, when you ship with Mothership you’ll have real-time freight tracking, down-to-the-second shipment updates, and 24/7 support for extra peace-of-mind.