What is Peak Season?

September 25, 2020

Peak Season Image

What is Peak Season?

Peak season happens around the end of October through the week before Christmas. How peak season happens historically is that all the retail manufacturers, hi-tech, wearing apparel, and mobile phones want to get their product on the shelves in time for the festive period shopping season.

In other words, there is a surge in demand for freight capacity for consumers to receive goods in time for Christmas, further escalated by retail product launches to draw attention to the large volumes of the business conducted by retailers during this period.

Which transport routes are impacted by peak season?

Each route will feel the impact of Peak Season; there is a global impact. The U.S. is a large consumer of goods from China and Hong Kong, and lately, we see increases from Vietnam. Also impacted are Intra-Asia freight routes as well as Asia to Europe. The impact is seen predominantly in South East Asia and China export markets.

How will COVID-19 impact the air cargo peak season in 2020?

The most significant impact is the cancellation of passenger flights and aircraft. Since passengers are unwilling to travel as they used to, there is limited freight capacity to be put on passenger flights. As some airlines are only operating thirty percent of their regular passenger flights, this drastically reduces air cargo transported internationally on these aircraft. Cargo freighters are fully operational; however, the passenger belly hold capacity shortage is a significant concern during peak season this year.

How will the COVID vaccine impact air cargo in 2020?

Covid vaccine vials and needleEssentially, this is the perfect storm; if the COVID vaccine is made available for distribution this year, it will put much pressure on the air cargo market.

Predictions are that it would need up to eight thousand 747 aircraft to transport the number of vaccines required worldwide. November is the beginning of peak season, and this year we see potentially the combination of the two demand flows on air freight cargo capacity, retail product, and vaccine.

We are currently in a period of 'wait and see' to determine when precisely a COVID vaccine will be readily available, and the question will also be how soon it can be distributed and the need for temperature control.

What is the advice for shippers in advance of peak season 2020?

Providing estimated projections and as much information as possible to the team at Crane Worldwide is key to overcoming the challenges that we foresee this peak season. On our side, we are securing capacity for our clients in advance of the upcoming season to ensure we are prepared for the increase in demand.

The more information provided to us by our clients, the better the service we can offer and the level of service expected when working without a team at Crane Worldwide. It will be a hectic peak season, and a lot of air charter capacity has been reserved in case the COVID vaccine is ready for distribution. As your logistics partner, we will provide our experience and flexibility to keep your business running, and we must keep up the dialogue of shared information to keep operations running smoothly.

The above is an exert from our recent podcast with Joe Cipolla, Senior Director Air Freight at Crane Worldwide Logistics; you can view the full interview here; if you have any questions relating to peak season, get in touch with the Crane Worldwide team. We are here to help! 

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