To consumers, the holiday shopping season is well underway with Black Friday and Cyber Week behind us. Take a look behind the curtain, however, and this peak season has presented a world of new challenges for retail supply chains, with it being longer and more complex than ever. For most retailers, peak season 2020 started back in October and will continue through the end of the year. It has been and will continue to require an all-out effort from retailers and their logistics partners, as consumer demands have reached an all-time high.
In fact, Adobe Analytics found that this Cyber Monday, U.S. consumers spent a record-breaking $10.8 billion online, an increase of 15% year-over-year, making it the largest online shopping day in U.S. history. This increase in demand paired with a shortage of labor on the shipping side has created a perfect storm for fulfillment operations. ShipMatrix reports that shipping capacity for this year’s holiday season will be overwhelmed by 7.2 million packages each day this holiday season.
These numbers are daunting, but retailers and their partners are more prepared than ever to handle this year’s holiday peak season. Most have experienced several peaks already this year, with the first one hitting in the early spring when the pandemic started.
Whether our customers are increasing their fleet size by seasonally renting additional Chucks or are deploying more Chucks full-time, they have all experienced benefits during peak. Since Black Friday, half of our customer sites are operating at peak-level volume, with the greatest demand arriving on Tuesday, December 1. “We’ve added a number of new customers this fall leading up to the peak season,” says Fergal Glynn, VP Marketing. “It’s very exciting that even our newest customers are exceeding design rates – in some cases, within the same day of going live.”
As we continue through this year’s peak season, there’s no doubt that many lessons learned will translate into 2021 as well. The pandemic not only changed the supply chain and retail spaces for this year, but very likely forever.
At 6 River Systems, we’re up to the challenge. Here are three ways to learn more about how our flexible automation solutions will prepare you for peak demands – whether they’re anticipated or not:[Webinar] – Optimizing Warehouse Operations for Peak [Blog] – Why training time matters more than you think [White Paper] – The Business Case for Collaborative Mobile Robots