Managing the High Cost of Peak Shipping

Carriers are raising shipping rates and adding surcharges in preparation for peak seasonal shipping. How can your business prepare for — and manage — the financial toll of peak shipping?

The holiday shipping season is approaching fast. This peak seasonal shipping rush, guaranteed to start even earlier this year, is always busy. But in recent years, it’s also continuously beset by additional challenges, including inflation, labor shortages, supply chain mishaps, and even a hurricane or two. And of course, there are the usual peak surcharges from carriers.


What can shippers do to manage the financial toll of seasonal shipping?

The financial toll of rate increases

The holiday shipping season has always been one of expensive chaos, but the external economic stressors that began with the pandemic have continued to pile on additional expenses. Factors contributing to carrier rate increases include:

  • The unpredictable nature of current events
  • Continuous supply chain disruptions, including port congestion
  • Trucking and other shipping related labor shortages
  • Carrier seasonal support hiring
  • Inflation driving up prices and service costs
  • The relatively new practice of peak season surcharges


With all these potential expenses adding up, it takes considerable planning to avoid potentially exorbitant seasonal shipping costs.

Develop short- and long-term savings strategies

Your first step to managing seasonal shipping costs is a thorough evaluation of your current shipping strategy. Is your shipping management plan as efficient as it should be? Do you have end-to-end visibility for every package you send? Is there unnecessary waste at any point in your shipping process?

Keep track of carrier peak surcharge schedules, and do as much as possible to limit your company’s exposure to higher seasonal rates. If your shipping management strategy needs a serious overhaul, prioritize delivery accuracy and peak surcharge management in the short-term, and develop long-term plans to streamline for future efficiency and cost control.

Streamline for efficiency and cost control

Streamlining your shipping strategy is all about smart management technology. Automation tools simplify essential customer and carrier processes. Quick and easy carrier cost comparisons can help your business save on seasonal shipping costs and identify the best combination of carrier rate and delivery window. Integrated invoice management consolidates your company’s shipping invoices across multiple carriers and all your business locations. Real-time tracking capability ensures delivery accuracy to avoid expensive redelivery fees — and allow shippers, customers, and recipients to know exactly where each package is and when they can expect it to arrive.