When something major happens in the world, it usually affects the US economy. Typically the Stock Market makes adjustments because everyone gets nervous about one thing or another. In time, things go back to normal again and it’s business as usual. Spring turns to summer, summer into fall and fall into winter. There 100’s of cycles that go on every day and every year. Let’s talk about how the cycles work in Logistics when it comes to moving Freight!!
When I started moving freight, it happened to be in the spring of the year. My customer would give me a load to work on; I would make a few calls, get some rates and send them over to her. She would say, “That is where I thought you would be at this time of year”. I thought I was hitting the Jackpot with the carriers because their rates were unbelievably low going down South, but unfortunately that was not the case. It was Produce season down south and it seemed that all the carriers were looking to go down south to get some of this high paying produce freight. This happens year after year and is one of the cycles I am referring to. Another cycle is at the end of the month. This is when your customers need to get their freight off the warehouse floors and can be very lucrative for Brokers and Carriers. To take it a step further would be end of month and end of quarter. If end of month is lucrative, the end of a quarter is a smorgasbord of freight where carriers and brokers can pull up to the trough and feed on freight till their hearts content. The only caveat is you have to be invited to the trough. You have to have enough Customers in your stable to be able to eat well. This is the only time Customers will pay more to get their freight moved and this happens 4 times a year. I saved the best for last, the holidays. The biggest holidays for freight are from Thanksgiving until New Years. This is the perfect storm when it comes to moving freight. If you can imagine a pod of dolphins herding a large school of sardines into the shallows where they all get to feed until there stuffed, meanwhile the seagulls and 100’s of other birds are all swooping down getting their fill until the poor school of sardines are no more……I think you get my point. I used to haul loads of Beer out of Wisconsin (Imagine that !!) for a customer. My favorite time was when the Sturgis SD bike rally took place. I never realized how much Beer they went thru. I would haul on average between 40 and 50 loads for about a month, and that was before the rally even started, it was what helped me make it thru the year when things slowed down.
Here’s something to remember. When I used to call on new potential customers, I would try to make sure I was calling at one of these peak cycles I’ve mentioned. If a customer ever needs help, it will be at one of these times. This is not to say you shouldn’t be calling at other times. In fact when you’re new, there shouldn’t be a day that goes by that you’re not making a few calls to potential customers.
Along with the busy season, you will have slow times in your year also. This is just part of the cycles that happen. They usually don’t last long but they are inevitable. In this business the old adage of making hay while the sun shines has never been more true. If you like my post, leave a comment. I’m always here.