Peak Season Tips

As the end of June winds down and the calendar turns over into July, so begins the typical summer “Peak Season” for International shipping.  This period of about 3-4 months can cause trouble for even veteran shippers as big box stores gear up to stock shelves for the holiday season.

Five Easy Tips to Help you Mitigate Risk

  1. Check your agreement with your current freight forwarder
    Does it provide a Peak Season provision?  If so, you will likely be able to buy slots with little to no disruption.
  2. Diversify your carrier base
    Ask your provider to ensure you have access to several steam ship lines rather than just one or two.  Utilizing different carrier alliances will allow access to additional vessel strings.  Canadian ports or East Coast ports may be an option for you as well.
  3. Ask your freight forwarder to book direct port to port services
    Containers can often be delayed 1-2 weeks at a transshipment port during Peak Season.  Larger shippers cargo will often take priority as it marries up to the mother vessel leaving the transship port.
  4. Book early
    Most carriers allow bookings to be placed up to two weeks in advance.  The earlier you can book the less likely your cargo is to roll.
  5. Work with your suppliers. 
    Notify all vendors of your most important shipments and ask that these take precedence for production.  If unforeseen delays do happen, your VIP cargo will arrive first

If you want to talk to a pricing guru, please contact Chris Hapka at