When it comes to seasonality in the logistics marketplace, it’s the peak holiday and produce seasons that get the most attention. However, the industry is heading into another important time of year many companies underappreciate. Construction season is a few-month period that creates different dynamics within the industry that everyone (even those not directly involved with construction) needs to be aware of.
During this time, large amounts of construction and building-related products are getting delivered. Shipping everywhere can be affected when demand, in general, goes up dramatically (particularly for flatbeds) as construction warms up along with temperatures. This additional volume of loads tends to also come with more handling requirements, including an increase in odd-sized, heavy, and multi-stops shipments.
The net effect can be similar to peak and produce seasons which means higher rates and other adverse market constraints. The direct impact is most relevant for construction manufacturers, builders, and retailers, but there’s still a tangential impact on ALL companies shipping freight this time of year.
What’s so tough about Construction Season?
The transportation piece of construction supply chains aside, things are already tough right now for almost any building project—big or small. Materials of all types are hard to get, and customers’ ordering lead times have become extended. Conversely, that’s put more pressure on the logistics departments of companies selling construction and building materials to speed up production and hit tight windows.
Here are some suggestions to keep in mind if you are a construction company struggling to find capacity or competitive rates this time of year:
Be Flexible: Obvious limitations aside, look for ways to ship materials in other modes (consider switching between flatbed, truckload, or LTL) you may not have considered in the past.
Know Your Consignees: Many construction sites have severely limited delivery restrictions and hours. Make sure you and the carrier know all the delivery requirements before the truck hits the road.
Consider Potential Accessorials: Speaking of delivery requirements, make sure you are aware of any potential extra accessorials or surcharges that may arise—like an inside delivery surcharge or driver unload.
Secure Capacity Early: Planning ahead, in particular with flatbed loads, can be vital to making sure you have truck capacity. If you are shipping building materials this time of year, you can be sure a lot of others are too.
Insurance and Handling: Construction materials can be very high-value, so make sure you have the necessary insurance coverage in case of damage. And, be certain the packaging can stand up to all the handling it’ll face.
Give Yourself Options
As a last tip, consider this. Similar to how construction freight can vary in terms of size, weights, and value, so can the costs and availability of carriers to ship it. Building a transportation partner portfolio before you can’t find a truck is a smart move that will save headaches down the road.
Companies can have access to guaranteed capacity and market-appropriate rates by visiting www.loadsmart.com. Loadsmart’s multimodal options, including flatbed, TL, and LTL, provide the assurance your construction materials are delivered on time and budget, with no surprise extra costs.
Transforming the future of freight, Loadsmart leverages technology and logistics data to build efficiency around how freight is priced, booked and shipped. Pairing comprehensive logistics technology with deep-seated freight industry expertise, Loadsmart fuels business growth, simplifies operations and increases efficiency for carriers and shippers alike. For more information, please visit: https://loadsmart.com. Move more with less.