1 February 2024

The challenge of peak season in logistics

Understanding and preparing for these key logistics periods contribute to a more efficient and resilient supply chain

Seasonality influences supply chain planning and decisions to be made in every company, balancing resources and activities between periods of more intense activity and those of slowdown is crucial. Successfully managing peak periods in logistics is crucial for ensuring a smooth flow of goods and keeping customers satisfied. Here, we highlight five significant periods throughout the year to be aware of and how they could impact global supply chains requiring a strategic planning for cross-border logistics.

Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a yearly festival that is celebrated in varying forms across Asia and triggers the world's largest annual human migration! Beginning on 10 February 2024, it will obviously will be impacting on logistics across the globe. The holiday results in a surge in shipping activity before the celebrations and a slowdown during the actual holiday period. Ports may experience congestion, and shipping schedules can be disrupted, affecting the timely delivery of goods.

The Carnival is the major festive season before Lent, and causes widespread celebrations, parades, and street parties. While it occurs in many countries around the world, Brazil is the country in the world experiencing a significant slowdown during this week. In some regions – for example, in the northeast of the country – the holiday can last between six and ten days, depending on the city. During this time, many companies and businesses completely stop their activities and suppliers take a break. The impacts of Carnival on global supply chains are generally limited when compared to events like the Chinese New Year. However, there can be some localized effects in specific industries and regions such as Brazil. Businesses with operations or suppliers in regions where Carnival is celebrated may need to plan for localized effects, but the broader global supply chain is unlikely to be significantly affected.

Summer Holiday Season
For those of us in the northern hemisphere our summer months are July and August, while in the southern hemisphere summer holidays are taken in December and January Cargo shipping may be impacted by summer season. Concurrently, logistical challenges, labor shortages, and the need for strategic inventory management and supply chain planning emerge, requiring proactive measures to address potential disruptions in transportation, labor availability, and global holiday schedules. While, increased demand for seasonal goods during the summer months, requires proactive planning for timely deliveries. Overall, the Summer Holiday Season introduces both challenges and opportunities for logistics and supply chain management. Companies that effectively plan for and adapt to the seasonal changes can enhance their operational resilience and meet customer demands efficiently.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday
Originating in the US, these shopping days have become today global, impacting logistics worldwide.Black Friday and Cyber Monday are characterized by a massive increase in consumer spending, both in physical stores and online. leading to challenges in managing inventory and to supply chain disruption Often cargo preparation for these events starts as early as September to meet the heightened demand. Companies with international supply chains need to coordinate activities across various regions. Understanding different holiday schedules, logistics capabilities, and consumer behaviors worldwide becomes crucial.

Christmas Season / New Year
Before you know it, you will have made it through another year and the busy time of Christmas . Year-end festivities bring increased demand, holiday. Planning well in advance is crucial to manage the stress and potential disruptions during this busy period.

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