During the Easter peak, lead times are condensed by bank holidays, shorter working weeks and school holidays which take capacity out of the market, so many of our shippers supplement their own existing transport solutions with a fixed requirement to ensure they meet the spike in demand.
“The calls we receive can be last-minute requests for a last-minute promotion, or for sustained periods of activity”, explains Andy Studd, Operations Support at DigiHaul. “We work alongside our carrier partners to find the resource and deliver it for the shipper, ensuring surety of service and capacity throughout busy peak periods, keeping them – and their customers – happy.”
Our Transport Solutions team is made up of a group of industry experts with a wealth of experience across a range of UK sectors, such as building materials, retail, pharmaceutical, engineering and technology. They also have in-depth knowledge of different transport types, including refrigerated, ambient, container, courier, or more specialist trailers like walking floors.
We also have specialist knowledge in handling promotional activity, making sure the processes are all in place to get the products delivered on time.
Our expertise of the UK and European markets combined with our network of over 750 carriers means we’re able to plan ahead and flex the requirements in different sectors and regions, reducing the pressures associated with peak.
“Within the team we have strong relationships with large fleet operators and smaller owner-operators alike, so we’re able to find the best resource for the shipper,” Andy says.
Why peak pressures aren’t sector-specific
The Easter peak is already well underway – we saw a greater volume requirement in the build-up to Mothers’ Day, which looks set to continue through the school holidays and up to the first May bank holiday.
This has a knock-on effect on other sectors which may not be in a peak period themselves.
“Building materials, for example, may not be in peak at Easter, but their capacity is reduced due to the spike in demand in food and drink and garden products. For us, it’s about managing that by knowing where the demand will be and planning the resource accordingly.”
Andy’s advice for shippers in the run-up to the Easter peak is to be aware of how much this can take capacity out of the market that they would usually rely on, even if their own sector isn’t especially busy at this time.
“Make sure you book ahead with our Transport Solutions team so you can maintain your level of service to your own customers. The surges of promotional activity which drives demand can clash with other sectors, meaning that the resource you usually use may not be available.”
Flexible capacity, when and where you need it
The biggest challenge that shippers face during any peak period is securing the capacity they need to maintain surety of service. Our solution? To pre-procure that capacity where it’s required and to ensure that it’s flexible enough to meet different demands across sectors and regions. That’s where the close relationships that we’ve built with our carrier partners really come into play.
“We’re able to meet sudden spikes in demand at a particular geographical site for some of our biggest retailers because we can shift the capacity from a sector that is less busy at that time. And because we’re offering consistent work to our carrier partners, we’re able to mix and match the resource as needed while helping them to reduce empty running.”
He adds: “The offering is there as and when you need it. We work with shippers of all sizes – from huge global companies to small manufacturing businesses – all of which know they can be confident that we’ll provide the capacity that they need.”
Making the transition to digital simple, fast and free
Many shippers may not have used a digital freight service before, so we’ve made the onboarding process simple and completely free with no ongoing commitment.
We can help you through peak with a handful of loads, you can come back on an ad-hoc basis, or we’re happy to support you on a more regular basis. It really is up to you.
“From your first transaction, you’ll speak with our Transport Solutions team so that we can understand your specific requirements: your timelines, the collection and delivery and any other details that will help us find the right resource for you.”
And although we know that digital innovation is key to what we do, it’s the human touch that can really make a difference. “Even in this digital age, people do business with people and we all seek that reassurance,” Andy says.
“But it’s also about knowing that someone will listen to and understand their own specific requirements and will look after their particular shipment. That they will resolve any issues that crop up, such as traffic delays or a flat tyre. It gives our shippers confidence.”