This time of year, it is of utmost importance that you keep your operations going efficiently and smoothly. Retailers and logistics companies count on high revenue during the holiday season, so ensuring a healthy supply chain is crucial.
The peak season is a time of year when retailers, especially online retailers, experience a significant increase in sales. This is usually due to cultural events or major promotional offers organized by all players in the retail industry to boost their sales. It’s usually broken into four seasons:
- Q1: The Quiet Season
- Q2: The Produce Shipping Season
- Q3: The Peak Shipping Season
- Q4: The Holiday Shipping Season
Although many retailers and logistics firms spend most of the year planning for Q4, many admit that this year’s peak season is a mystery. And amid economic pessimism, the numbers look promising. Despite inflation, wages are still up, unemployment is low, and retail sales are holding steady.
So, as a business leader, you’re probably wondering…
What Factors Are Impacting the 2022 Peak Season?
The most significant expectations for the 2022 peak shipping season come from the growth of e-commerce and its impact on global supply chains. Forbes explains that e-commerce will account for 20.4% of global retail sales by the end of 2022. However, with that growth comes the expectation of more disruption.
The ongoing Ukraine–Russia conflict has caused turmoil in significant parts of the global supply chain. Deloitte predicts that there are insufficient raw materials for supply and manufacturing use. Therefore, shipping may be stalled due to a limited supply of equipment and trucks, fewer drivers, and the pressure everywhere to move things faster, save money, and get it done without impacting the customer experience.
The risk for higher peak season shipping surcharges is a certainty. Even if fuel costs were to decline, the peak season shipping surcharges would always reflect an average over the recent weeks. And with little to no end to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, the best bet is to plan for even higher fuel costs in the latter part of 2022. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), the on-highway diesel fuel cost has risen to $5.703 per gallon as of June 6, 2022. That’s a staggering jump of more than $2.40 for the same period in 2021.
The survey detailed by DC Velocity found that up to 51% of industry professionals expect the 2022 peak season to be worse than 2021, while 26% say it will be less chaotic, and 22% expect the same level of chaos as last year.
How Can Outsourcing Help?
Outsourcing can be very beneficial to your company in many ways. It can provide help with a wide variety of processes and functions. Hiring to meet your seasonal peak demands can be complicated without experience, and it can be costly. By working with an outsourcing partner, you can effectively source and hire large or small groups of agents based on your needs.
But outsourcing goes beyond hiring solutions. It also allows you to outsource functions and even complete departments, which gives you flexibility within your business to focus on other areas.
1. Cost Efficiency
Hiring, training, and retaining employees can be an expensive part of our business; outsourcing can significantly reduce those costs.
2. You Can Focus On Core Activities
Every business has different core activities and some standard ones that need to be taken care of for the business to keep running and growing. With a trusted outsourcing partner, you’ll be able to focus on what makes the business grow.
3. Improve Customer Service
One of the best parts about outsourcing comes with the highly qualified agents brought in by an experienced partner. Having this team of customer service-focused agents can add some important ideas to your core business model and help you improve your in-house customer service and overall customer experience.
4. Expert Knowledge
By outsourcing, you acquire the expertise and knowledge of a team of highly qualified agents that can help you get through some challenging situations during these high-volume times. An outside perspective can give us a new look at your company’s operations and what needs to change to be more efficient and practical.
Outsourcing can be beneficial during these seasonal peaks to avoid the hiring and training process and optimize production and profits. An outsourcing partner can help your business make the most of these peak seasons and allow you to focus on what helps you grow: the core of your business.
MAU’s experts are ready and able to create customized solutions to all your business’s production and hiring needs this and every holiday season.
Check out some of our featured case studies to learn more about how we service our diverse clientele!