How retailers can move that extra inventory this peak season

The annual shopping spree, i.e. the high season in retail, is just around the corner. But vendors are under additional pressure this time as they try to get rid of all the excess inventory in their warehouses.

Businesses are typically stocking up to ensure they can meet increased demand ahead of Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, which arguably mark the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.

This year, inventories hit a record high in February and have been slowly declining throughout the year, but are still above average ahead of the busiest months of the year.

Chris Randall, senior vice president of Freight Club, an all-in-one freight shipping platform, cites the excess inventory that businesses are now facing as an effort to avoid the product shortages consumers are struggling with due to the COVID-19 pandemic – Have experienced interruptions.

“I think a lot of the big players that had a lot of money to pull it off pre-ordered a lot of inventory to make sure that doesn’t happen again this year,” Randall said. “The downside to that is that some of the smaller to medium-sized companies have done the same.”

This excess inventory, which takes up storage space, can be a costly liability for many when demand isn’t there. Luckily, the holiday season is a prime opportunity to get rid of a significant amount of this additional merchandise.

The catch, however, is that everyone is faced with the same situation at the same time: How are they supposed to move all that discounted inventory during the busiest time of the year while maintaining profitability and high customer satisfaction?

Photo: iStock

Providers typically work with just a few carriers to take advantage of volume and get the best rates, but this route can limit their business.

In November and December, individual carriers face greater demand for their delivery services. This means that the capacity of the usual transport partners is not guaranteed and it can quickly become expensive once the transport companies have reached their capacity.

“There is a small struggle for some of the capacity and prices may go up. In some cases, they might not be able to send that many trucks,” Randall said.

More trucks on the road and more goods being shipped also inevitably result in more claims and longer delivery times. All of these elements combined ultimately threaten the bottom line and customer experience.

In times of such high volumes and high stakes, Freight Club offers providers much-needed flexibility.

Freight Club leverages each customer’s volume to obtain the best rates from its network of more than 30 well-known carriers, allowing shipments to be arranged quickly at reasonable prices. Randall describes it as a “release valve” for volume overflows.

“When prices go up to a point where providers start losing profits, being able to quickly look for an alternative option without having to take all of their volume there is actually a huge benefit,” Randall said.

By unlocking Freight Club’s carrier diversity, providers have access to a range of delivery options including special white glove, national, localized last mile and traditional breakbulk loads. Freight Club finds out what carriers are good at and holds them accountable.

“We try to make sure we know who the carrier is from a performance perspective. We understand what their strengths and weaknesses are, and we constantly try to convey that to our clients so they can make wiser decisions,” said Randall.

With so many peak-season orders, the extra work can mean internal teams work overtime just to keep up. Freight Club takes a worry out of the minds of retailers by taking care of the claim reporting process and customer service, helping them save money on labor costs in addition to shipping savings.

“We try to offer our customers as many services as possible to make it easier for them,” Randall said.

Freight Club is fee-free and can be implemented out-of-the-box without integration, providing a low barrier to entry and a low-risk path to entering the busy season with confidence.

“Freight Club’s relentless pursuit of a great customer experience continues well past its peak,” concluded Randall.

Click here to learn more about the Freight Club.

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