Navigating Peak Shipping 2021: Insights and Solutions

Navigating Peak Shipping 2021: Insights and Solutions

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Transportation Issues during Peak 2021
  3. Impact of Cost Increases on Shippers
  4. Success Stories during Peak 2021
  5. Importance of Carrier Diversification
  6. The Role of Technology in Transportation Data Visibility
  7. Managing Supply Chain Constraints and Inventory Stocking
  8. The Evolution of Carrier Assortment in the Post-Pandemic Era
  9. Benefits of My Ship Info Solution for Shippers
  10. Preparing for Peak 2022

Article: Transportation and Solutions for Peak Shipping 2021


Transportation is a critical component of the supply chain, and efficiently managing it during peak seasons is vital for businesses. In this article, we will explore the challenges that the transportation industry faced during Peak Shipping 2021 and discuss actionable insights and solutions to help shippers prepare for Peak 2022.

Transportation Issues During Peak 2021

Peak 2021 presented significant hurdles for shippers, reminiscent of the challenges faced in 2020. Limited capacity, network bottlenecks, and late deliveries were some of the prominent issues. However, what made these problems even more difficult to overcome was the higher financial cost associated with them. Shippers faced rate increases, an expansion of surcharges, and multiple adjustments to fuel surcharge indices, all leading to increased expenses. This added financial burden made it more challenging for shippers to accept sub-optimal service from their providers.

Impact of Cost Increases on Shippers

The rising costs in the transportation industry have put a strain on shippers' bottom line. While carriers justify these cost increases by citing labor and input cost rises, it is evident that some carriers are exploiting the situation. Shippers have expressed their frustration with the significant financial impact they faced in 2021. It becomes crucial for shippers to evaluate their rate caps and assess their overall service profiles to mitigate the effect of these cost increases.

Success Stories During Peak 2021

Despite the challenges, there were success stories during Peak Shipping 2021. One notable win was the United States Postal Service (USPS), which significantly improved its on-time deliveries compared to the previous year. Investments in hiring seasonal workers and implementing new machines played a significant role in achieving a 95% on-time service rating for December week one. Additionally, retailers benefited from the increase in brick-and-mortar shopping, which helped alleviate some of the constraints faced by online shopping. Strategies like buy online, pick up in-store, and exclusive in-store promotions contributed to a better-managed peak season.

Importance of Carrier Diversification

Carrier diversification is a crucial strategic decision for shippers. Relying on a single carrier limits flexibility and exposes shippers to the risks associated with that carrier's performance and pricing. Exploring different carriers and incorporating them into transportation programs provides options for capacity, cost savings, and safety valves. However, implementing carrier diversification is not a straightforward process. Shippers must consider technology, facilities, personnel, and client commitments when evaluating carrier options. Regular evaluations and adjustments to carrier mix are necessary to optimize solutions and adapt to evolving needs.

The Role of Technology in Transportation Data Visibility

Many shippers lack visibility into their transportation data, relying on dashboards and reports from disparate data sources. This fragmented approach hinders effective decision-making. OnVista's My Ship Info solution addresses this issue by providing a centralized platform to aggregate carrier data across all modes and regions. This integration, combined with upstream order data, enables actionable intelligence and analytics. Improved visibility allows shippers to reduce costs, optimize workflows, and enhance transit times, ultimately delighting their customers.

Managing Supply Chain Constraints and Inventory Stocking

Supply chain constraints, especially during peak seasons, have a significant impact on a brand's ability to stock inventory. The multitude of bottlenecks, from port delays to clearance and transportation challenges, make timely stocking difficult. Shippers have started considering onshoring as a solution to address these constraints. The just-in-time strategy can only work if goods arrive on time, and the uncertainties in the global supply chain have emphasized the need for alternative approaches. Despite the difficulties, 2021 witnessed a relatively better-managed peak compared to 2020, offering some respite for shippers.

The Evolution of Carrier Assortment in the Post-Pandemic Era

The post-pandemic era calls for a reevaluation of carrier assortment. The landscape is continuously changing, and shippers need to proactively adapt to control their destiny. Carrier mix is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and shippers must consider various factors like technology, service options, and profitability at the SKU level. The introduction of numerous new carriers provides opportunities for capacity, cost savings, and improved transit times. Strategic decision-making involves frequent evaluations and incorporating evolving variables to arrive at optimal solutions that align with business objectives.

Benefits of My Ship Info Solution for Shippers

OnVista's My Ship Info solution offers shippers unparalleled visibility and actionable intelligence. By aggregating carrier data and integrating it with upstream and downstream systems, shippers can achieve cost reduction and customer satisfaction goals. The solution provides comprehensive insights into average transit times, charge-level visibility, profitability analysis, and landed cost evaluation. Leveraging this information, supply chain stakeholders can make informed decisions, optimize their transportation workflows, and effectively prepare for peak seasons.

Preparing for Peak 2022

Planning for Peak 2022 should start now to secure capacity and manage costs. Shippers should analyze their data, evaluate their transit times by lane and service level during the most recent peak, and anticipate carrier issues for the upcoming season. Understanding cost allocation and advocating for proper budgeting will help shippers align their objectives with finance and overall business goals. Additionally, tracking profitability at the SKU level enables intelligent decisions that eliminate high-cost items and optimize network performance.

In conclusion, shippers need to navigate transportation challenges strategically to thrive during peak seasons. By leveraging technology, diversifying carrier options, and accessing comprehensive data insights, shippers can overcome supply chain constraints, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction. With proper planning, proactive decision-making, and the right tools, shippers can prepare for Peak 2022 and maximize their success in the dynamic transportation landscape.


  1. Transportation challenges during Peak 2021 included limited capacity, network bottlenecks, and increased costs.
  2. Success stories included USPS improving on-time deliveries and brick-and-mortar retail managing constraints.
  3. Carrier diversification is crucial for flexibility, cost savings, and mitigating risks associated with a single carrier.
  4. OnVista's My Ship Info solution offers centralized data visibility and actionable intelligence for optimizing transportation workflows.
  5. Understanding supply chain constraints, inventory stocking, and carrier assortment is essential for successful peak season preparation.


Q: How can shippers mitigate the impact of rising costs? A: Shippers can evaluate their rate caps, assess service profiles, and explore carrier diversification to manage costs effectively.

Q: What benefits does OnVista's My Ship Info solution offer? A: My Ship Info provides consolidated data visibility, actionable intelligence, and analytics to help shippers reduce costs and enhance customer satisfaction.

Q: What should shippers track to anticipate carrier issues for the upcoming peak season? A: Shippers should track their average transit times by lane and service level during the most recent peak to gain insights into potential carrier issues.

Q: How can shippers optimize their inventory stocking during peak seasons? A: Shippers can consider onshoring, implement just-in-time strategies with timely deliveries, and analyze SKU-level profitability to make informed decisions.

Q: What steps should shippers take to prepare for Peak 2022? A: Shippers should analyze data, anticipate carrier challenges, advocate for proper budgeting, and track profitability at the SKU level to optimize peak season preparation.

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