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Peak Season 2024: Three Trends for Shippers to Know

April 30, 2024

Despite a slight return to normalcy in recent months, the global supply chain is nonetheless facing another highly volatile peak season in 2024. A number of significant threats, including continued disruptions, port congestion, and dynamic global trade trends, are poised to make peak season 2024 a difficult season for many shippers.

With only three months remaining until the start of peak season 2024, we’re taking a look at three key trends facing shippers, and how vital ocean container tracking software solutions provide them with the resilience needed to strategically navigate a volatile peak season.

Three Trends Shaping Peak Season 2024

Facing the onset of a highly dynamic peak season, it’s vital for shippers to carefully examine the threats facing their operations in peak season 2024. In the spirit of building resilience through awareness, we’re taking a look at three key trends shaping peak season 2024.

Continued Disruptions Pose a Significant Threat

As peak season 2024 approaches, a significant number of major disruptions continue to threaten the stability of the global supply chain. In this section, we offer three challenges facing shippers in peak season 2024.

1. The Crisis in the Red Sea

The crisis in the Red Sea continues to impact global supply chain operations. With most major ocean carriers maintaining their bans on transit through the Red Sea due to the continued threat of rocket fire from Yemen-based Houthi rebels, the Red Sea and Suez Canal remain effectively closed for most shippers. This effective closure sends the global supply chain back to the days before the opening of the Suez Canal in 1864, with carriers forced to divert vessels around Africa’s Southern tip at the Cape of Good Hope — a diversion that can add approximately two weeks to vessel transit times.

For shippers planning for peak season 2024, this means that supply chain managers need to integrate longer transit times — and increased transit costs — into peak season 2024 supply chain planning. For consumers who have grown used to get-it-fast commerce, these delays could result in major dissatisfaction. Thus, a shipper's ability to plan accurately for a supply chain disrupted by the crisis in the Red Sea becomes a key competitive advantage in a turbulent supply chain.

2. Port Congestion Remains a Persistent Challenge

While many shippers may think that port congestion is now an artifact of the COVID-19 pandemic, peak season 2024 could see a return to significant congestion and its accompanying impacts on the global supply chain. As consumer spending continues to grow, ports are likely to see continued increases in volumes, which will inevitably be exacerbated by the typical peak season shopping trends. While this may be good news for shippers in the short term, this influx of volume comes at a time when a number of factors are compounding to increase the likelihood of port congestion.

  • Persistent labor shortages at U.S. ports leave many terminals short-staffed, increasing container transit times and ultimately decreasing throughput.
  • Ongoing disruptions throughout the global supply chain add to uncertainty around container arrival schedules, reducing a port’s ability to accurately forecast inbound volumes.
  • Increasingly limited yard space, paired with outdated technology, leads to critical logjams at terminals, which leave workers scrambling to catch up. This leads to a cycle of triage and repeat, with workers unable to prepare for inbound volumes.

With little resolution for these issues in sight, supply chain managers should expect to face significant port congestion during peak season in 2024.

East Coast Port Strike Could Result in Disarray

While many experts are predicting 2024 could be a record year for port congestion, a brewing strike of the ILA on the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States could lead to an unprecedented crisis at American ports. As shippers reroute goods from the East Coast to already congested West Coast ports, logjams at crowded terminals could result in levels of congestion to outmatch those of the COVID-19 pandemic. An October strike of the ILU’s approximately 65,000 rank and file could pose a major risk to operations in peak season 2024, leading shippers to rethink their approach to resilience.

In a Dynamic Peak Season, Ocean Container Tracking Plays a Vital Role

As shippers begin to understand the scale of the challenges facing smooth operations in peak season 2024, many are searching for solutions. With ocean container tracking software, shippers can leverage unparalleled supply chain visibility for maximum resilience during peak season 2024.

Real-Time Visibility

Ocean container tracking software solutions offer shippers real-time visibility into the movement of their cargo throughout the supply chain. With the ability to monitor container location, status, and estimated time of arrival, shippers can make informed decisions and respond promptly to disruptions. Real-time updates provided by ocean container tracking tools enable shippers to optimize supply chain operations by adjusting schedules, rerouting shipments, and reallocating resources as needed. By having access to accurate and up-to-date information, shippers can minimize the impact of disruptions and maintain efficient supply chain operations even during peak season in 2024.

Enhanced Port Performance

For shippers, ocean container tracking tools offer invaluable advantages in enhancing port performance and optimizing logistics operations. These tools provide real-time insights into container movements, enabling shippers to monitor their cargo's progress accurately. By leveraging this data, shippers can streamline their processes, reduce dwell times, and mitigate congestion at terminals. This leads to smoother operations, ensuring timely delivery of goods to customers. Additionally, by tracking vessel turnaround times, shippers can optimize their supply chain routes and minimize idle time, resulting in faster turnaround times and increased efficiency. Overall, ocean container tracking tools empower shippers to navigate the complexities of peak season 2024 with ease, enhancing their operational agility and resilience in the face of disruptions.

Integrated Awareness for Maximum Resilience

Automated notifications provided by ocean container tracking tools enable seamless collaboration and data sharing among stakeholders in the supply chain ecosystem, empowering shippers with integrated awareness to navigate peak season 2024 effectively. By automatically sharing real-time tracking data with carriers, freight forwarders, customs authorities, and other relevant parties, shippers can ensure timely communication and coordination across the supply chain. This integrated awareness allows stakeholders to anticipate and proactively respond to disruptions, minimizing risks and optimizing supply chain performance.

OpenTrack: Resilience Through Container Tracking in Peak Season 2024

Facing significant challenges, shippers are turning to ocean container tracking as a means of building resilience in peak season 2024. With ocean container tracking from OpenTrack, shippers can access an unparalleled suite of resilience-building software solutions:

  • Real-Time Visibility provides holistic container tracking across all intermodal operations.
  • Port Performance Monitoring ensures maximum visibility across dynamic port operations.
  • Automated Notifications provide 24/7 awareness over high-stakes intermodal operations.

Book a demo with OpenTrack today to see how ocean container tracking can help you build resilience in peak season 2024.

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